Paris | Novak Djokovic captured a first French Open at the 12th time of asking on Sunday, becoming just the third man in history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time.
The world number one downed old rival Andy Murray 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 to claim a 12th career Major and join Don Budge in 1938 and Rod Laver, in 1962 and 1969, as the only players to simultaneously possess the French Open, Australian Open, US Open and Wimbledon trophies.
Djokovic, 29, also put himself halfway to the calendar Grand Slam, last achieved by Laver 47 years ago.
But he did it the hard way as the final reached its conclusion, being broken in the eighth game of the fourth set as he served for the title and then squandering two Championship points in the 10th before he sealed victory when Murray netted a backhand.
It’s a very special moment, the biggest of my career, said Djokovic, one of only eight men to complete the career Grand Slam and who had lost his previous three finals in Paris.
I felt today something that I never felt before at Roland Garros, I felt the love of the crowd.
Djokovic imitated former three-time champion Gustavo Kuerten by drawing a giant heart in the Paris clay before collapsing inside it.
I drew the heart on the court, like Guga who gave me permission to do. My heart will always be with you on this court.
Playing in his 20th final at the majors and sixth in succession, the Serb superstar is the first man since Jim Courier in 1992 to win the Australian and French Opens back-to-back.
Victory also allowed Djokovic to stretch his winning record over 29-year-old Murray to 24-10 overall and 8-2 in Grand Slams.
Murray, the world number two and the first British man in the final in Paris since Bunny Austin in 1937, remains with two Grand Slam titles as he failed to become the first winner of the French Open since Fred Perry 81 years ago.
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