He makes sure every single thing that he does is reaching as close to perfection as possible. –Beaten finalist in Rome, Stephanos Tsitsipas 

by Roger Childs

Djokovic triumphs in warm-up for the French grand slam

The Serbian super-star swept aside the challenge of the Greek finalist in the last clay court tournament before the second grand slam of the year at Roland Garros. After racing through the first set 6-0, Djokovic fought back in the second set after being down 3-5 to win the tie break 7-5 and take the Rome Masters title.  

Tsitsipas couldn’t cope with Djokovic’s power and accuracy in the opening set and in a rare show of frustration bashed his racket against one of his bags during a break, earning him a racket-abuse warning. He should have won the second set, but couldn’t capitalize on breaking Djokovic’s service in the third game. Too often he played into the Serb’s hands by hitting the ball straight back to him instead of going for wide-out winners.

Djokovic made very few unforced errors and his powerful service, well-placed ground strokes and lethal overhead and volleying were just too good for the Greek. 

A firm favourite for Paris


The world number one has peaked at the right time. After being beaten in the recent Madrid semi-final by Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz, Djokovic showed in the Rome tournament why he is top of the rankings and the favourite to pick up his twenty-first grand slam on the clay at Roland Garros. 

Rafael Nadal has won the Paris tournament an incredible 13 times! but sadly a chronic foot injury flared up in Rome and clearly hampered his performance when he lost to Canadian Denis Shapovalov in the fourth round.

Djokovic and Tsitsipas

Coincidentally the finalists in the just completed Rome tournament actually fought out a five set thriller in the Roland Garros final last year. Novak Djokovic came back from two sets down to win 6-7 2-6 6-3 6-2 6-4.

All the top players will be in Paris and Djokovic’s biggest threat may well be Carlos Alcaraz who won his last two tournaments in Barcelona and Madrid. However it would be a brave person who would bet against the Serb equaling Nadal’s record of 21 grand slam titles by winning this year’s Roland Garros final.