With his victory, Djokovic reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the ATP Rankings from Carlos Alcaraz, and at the age of 36, he surpassed Rafael Nadal as the oldest Roland Garros champion.
Novak Djokovic broke new ground in men’s tennis on Sunday, defeating Casper Ruud 7-6(1), 6-3, 7-5 to win his record 23rd major title at Roland Garros. Djokovic overcame Ruud’s strong start on Court Philippe-Chatrier to claim a historic victory. The third seed won a tie-break after trailing 1-4 in the first set, then produced some of his best hitting of the fortnight in the second and third sets en route to a three-hour, 13-minute victory. With his victory, Djokovic reclaimed the No. 1 spot in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings from Carlos Alcaraz, and at the age of 36, he surpassed Rafael Nadal as the oldest Roland Garros champion.
“Obviously a Grand Slam is a Grand Slam,” said Djokovic at the trophy ceremony. “The four biggest tournaments that we have in our sport. Every single player dreams of being on this stage and winning the trophy at least once in their career. I’m beyond fortunate in my life to win 23 times, it’s an incredible feeling.”
With history on the line, an eager crowd gathered in Paris, including actor Hugh Grant, NFL legend Tom Brady (who sat in Djokovic’s player’s box) and football stars Kylian Mpabbe, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Olivier Giroud, and the Serbian did not disappoint. After thwarting Ruud’s early charge, Djokovic barely looked back on his way to extending his ATP Head2Head series lead over the pair to 5-0. He outhit the fourth seed 52 to 31 while winning 80% (59/74) of points off his first serve.
Ruud battled well in his third championship match in the previous five major tournaments, but was unable to maintain his dazzling start. The 24-year-old, who reached the finals of Roland Garros and the US Open in 2022, did not win more than two points in a return game after 4-3 in the first set, as Djokovic ruthlessly shut down his opponent’s rallying efforts.
Even as she rose through the ranks of elite women’s tennis, Iga Swiatek downplayed the weight of expectation. For the first time in her 62-week reign as the Hologic WTA Tour’s No.1 player, that position could have been snatched away during Roland Garros. Swiatek lost only eight games in her first three matches, including four 6-0 set pieces. Only Beatriz Haddad Maia managed to win more than four games in six matches, and she did so in a tiebreak. And then, in a stunning final against Karolina Muchova, that deep, penetrating pressure became clear. Swiatek did, however, drop a set, her first in a Grand Slam singles final. Five times, her serve was broken.
But she made it through in the end. She persisted, and she won. Swiatek won 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 after Muchova double-faulted on match point. This was her most difficult final and, in retrospect, one of her most cherished because of how she won. Swiatek willed herself to victory when up against a comparable athlete. “This one, for sure, it was a little bit tougher,” Swiatek told reporters later. “I right now feel like it’s a little bit different. I needed to really handle that. I’m super happy that I managed to do that and that Daria (Abramowicz, her full-time psychologist) helped me, as well, because for sure these past three weeks weren’t easy.”