French Open: Final for the history books – Novak Djokovic vs Casper Ruud

Status: 06/10/2023 11:50 a.m

In the final of French Open men, Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud are fighting for a very special title. In the event of a win, both would have a place in tennis history.

On Sunday (06/11/2023) French Open history will be written on the Court Philippe-Chatrier. In the final, Novak Djokovic and Casper Ruud not only fight for the title in Paris, but also for history.

Ruud has another chance, the first Norwegian to do so Grand Slam– Win a title in tennis. And Djokovic can win his 23rd title in the series of the largest tournament quartets consisting of Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open to be crowned number one.

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Djokovic: “A privilege to make history in this sport”

The Serb currently shares the throne with Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard cannot be in Paris this year due to a long-term hip injury, he won 14 of his 22 Grand Slams at Roland Garros. This supremacy on the red ash is also the reason why Djokovic has only won the French Open twice despite participating in six finals. Without Nadal, title number three should now follow.

“I’m in the fortunate position that recent games have often been about history – I love that feeling” said Djokovic. “It’s a privilege to make history in the sport I love. The motivation is of course particularly high, as you can imagine.

Alcaraz tenses out of respect for Djokovic

Especially since the 36-year-old has already cleared the greatest possible hurdle. In the semifinals, Djokovic defeated number one seeded Carlos Alcaraz in four sets. He benefited from the 20-year-old’s cramps – and from his past.

Because Alcaraz admitted: “I had cramps from all the nervousness and tension from playing against a legend like Djokovic.“He had himself and his body under control and was therefore the winner of a game that had been called the early final.

Experience isn’t that important, it doesn’t win you a game. But she can help you deal with the emotions and use your energy properly” said Djokovic. “My quality was very high, my best game of this tournament came at the right time and so I got back into the situation of fighting for a Grand Slam title.

Ruud is an outsider in the final of the French Open

With a similar sovereignty, but without the big challenge in the tournament so far, Djokovic’s opponent in the final, Ruud, has also done it. The 24-year-old only gave up three sets, in the semifinals against Alexander Zverev he even lost only seven games 6: 3, 6: 4, 6: 0. Nevertheless, he also goes into his third final at a Grand Slam as an outsider.

I try to play with as little pressure and emotions as possible, not to think too much. I didn’t come here thinking that I was one of the favorites for the final. But of course my goal was to defend this place in the finalsaid Ruud.Novak wants his 23rd title, I want my first – that’s a big difference. But we will both give everything.

More maturity thanks to two final defeats

Exactly one year ago, the current number four in the world rankings went to the big stage of the Court Philippe-Chatrier on the final Sunday of the French Open for the first time. However, against his friend Nadal, he was impressively shown the limits.

“It was the first time I was in the situation of playing a Grand Slam final. It was difficult for me to feel comfortable in this atmosphere. It wasn’t easy, but it was a good experience for me“said Ruud after the 3: 6, 3: 6, 0: 6.

At the US Open last fall, the second chance for the first title in a Grand Slam followed. Ruud failed again, but against Alcaraz it was a much closer affair at 4: 6, 6: 2, 6: 7, 3: 6. Even then he showed that he was better able to cope with the atmosphere of such a big game. On Sunday against Djokovic, Ruud then wants to prove that he can win such a big game.