No. 1 Novak Djokovic defeated No. 2 Andy Murray to win the 2016 French Open title, complete the career Grand Slam and enter the GOAT discussion.
PARIS – Thoughts on No. 1 Novak Djokovic’s win over No. 2 Andy Murray to claim his first French Open title.
• After two weeks of chaos at Roland Garros, tennis karma finally got it right. Djokovic did what he had to for six rounds in Paris to finally claim the French Open title. It would’ve seemed almost unspeakably cruel if he would’ve been thwarted again.
A great irony to this whole discussion—which we can now stop having—is that he’s really a fine clay court player. This was his 13th title on clay but Sunday's win was obviously the biggest one and now we can discuss Djokovic without having to make mention of the French Open title that’s eluded him.
• Djokovic has officially entered the GOAT pasture. He avoided Rafael Nadal and only had to beat one Top 5 seed before the final, but this tournament has completely reframed his career.
He now has the career Grand Slam and four major titles in a row, which is something neither Roger Federer or Nadal ever did. He’s well into double figures and just turned 29 years old. This really changes the Greatest of All Time conversation, more so than any other title he has won.
Djokovic tuned the best player under 25 in the SF. He's 24-10 . Murray. He hasn't lost a set to Nadal in two years. Who's stepping up, boys?— Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) June 5, 2016
• When Murray lost to Federer in the Wimbledon final in 2012, he sort of broke down and said he was "getting closer." And it does seem like the same thing is true here with Djokovic.
It’s been a long time since he’s beaten him at a major, but he did better in Paris than he did in Australia. What he’s learning is that it’s much harder to beat Djokovic in a best-of-five match than a best-of-three match. But if someone is going to stop Djokovic, Murray is probably the best candidate. He can take away some consolation that he got on the board first and hung with the Serb in so many of the points. Overall, he needs to be happy with his tournament.
• For Djokovic, the calendar Grand Slam is now totally doable in 2016. It means defending two titles—at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open—and the Olympics add in an interesting twist because of the scheduling.
He came within one match last year, but it was at the French Open and he is never going to feel pressure like that. He definitely has a shot—and it’s going to be fun to watch.