Novak Djokovic captured the 2023 French Open trophy by defeating Casper Ruud 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 6-5 in the final, and he has now made Grand Slam history. The Serbian star has reached 23 major titles, passing Rafael Nadal for the men's record.
Djokovic laid on the ground for a few seconds after his win, then stood up and took in the Roland Garros crowd -- one that included plenty of celebrities including Tom Brady, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kylian Mbappe.
"I was a 7-year-old dreaming that I could win Wimbledon and become No. 1 in the world one day," Djokovic said after the match. "I'm beyond grateful and blessed to be standing here with so many incredible achievements.
"One thing is for sure I feel I had the power to create my own destiny. I try to visualize every single thing in my life, and not only believe it but really feel it with every cell in my body."
Djokovic had tied Nadal on the Grand Slam list earlier this year after winning his 10th Australian Open. He is now tied with Serena Williams among men and women, and is just one shy of the overall record of 24 Grand Slam titles set by Margaret Court.
"I just want to send a message out there to every young person. Be in the present moment, forget about what happened in the past," Djokovic said. "The future is something that is just going to happen. If you want a better future, you create it."
This was Djokovic's third French Open trophy, meaning he is now the only man to win all four Grand Slams at least three times. This also means he is retaking his spot as the No. 1 player in the world. Carlos Alcaraz had dethroned him recently, but Djokovic knocked him out in the semifinal round. Djokovic has already spent a record 388 weeks as No. 1.
Ruud was off to a solid start at Court Philippe Chatrier as he picked up a 3-0 lead in the first set. However, Djokovic pushed back and dragged his opponent to a tiebreak. Djokovic came out on top, as he has in every tiebreak during this tournament with zero unforced errors. That first set took an hour and 21 minutes.
Djokovic carried the momentum from the tiebreak into the second set. Ruud's third set looked more promising than his second as he kept it close. But even when the set was tied at 5-5, it was clear the Serbian star was ready to make history. Even Brady, a seven-time Super Bowl champion, pulled out his phone to capture the moment when Djokovic was about to close it out. After a short rally, a crosscourt forehand from Ruud went wide and Djokovic officially became the winner.
"Another day, another record for you," Ruud said of Djokovic after the match. "Another day you rewrite tennis history, once again. It's tough to explain how incredible it is and how good you are, and what an inspiration you are to so many people around the world."
Novak Djokovic's 23 Grand Slam titles:
|Australian Open||2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023|
|French Open||2016, 2021, 2023|
|Wimbledon||2011, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022|
|US Open||2011, 2015, 2018|