Novak Djokovic won his first Tennis Grand Slam on clay by beating Andy Murray in four sets at the French Open finals in Paris.
The World Number One won his 12th career major and became just the third man in tennis history to hold all four Grand Slam titles at the same time (joining American Don Budge and Australian Rod Laver in the elite group).
Brit Andy Murray did well in his quest to win his third grand slam by taking the first set 6-3, but was overpowered by the top seed in the next three sets (6-1, 6-2, 6-4), to lose the match in just under three hours.
In a Grand Slam severely affected by rain, the absence and pull out of previous champions Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal respectively helped the Serbian pocket the only Slam to have eluded him so far.
Djokovic plays a brand of perfect text book tennis, but the men’s game needs more players who can add colour and competition to the game.
In the woman’s draw top seed Serena Williams quest for her 22nd Grand Slam win was thwarted by the fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza, a 22-year-old from Spain.
Playing an aggressive game attacking the Williams serve, Muguruza won her first Grand Slam in straight sets 7-5, 6-4.
This was Williams’ second loss in Grand Slam final this year after losing the Australian final to German Angelie Kerber.
In a game dominated by Williams’s sisters (Serena and her older sibling Venus), it was heartening to see newer players emerge to challenge the established order.
Forty-two-year-old Indian tennis great Leander Paes became the oldest man in the open era to win a Grand Slam (beating his own record from last year) by pocketing the Mixed Doubles title partnering the Swiss star Martina Hingis.
The unseeded pair beat the second seeds Sania Mirza and Ivan Dodig (4-6, 6-4, 10-8) in the finals. The win at Roland Garros gave Paes his 18th Grand Slam win and also completed his career Grand Slam in mixed doubles.
Paes is the only Indian to win an individual medal at Olympics.
He won a Bronze Medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Paes will be competing in his seven straight Olympics if he plays at the Rio games later this year. His likely partner will be the World No 10 in doubles –the 36-year old from Bangalore, Rohan Bopanna. The big serving Rohan can be an ideal partner for the evergreen Paes, who is brilliant at the net.
Paes’ opponent in the French Open final was the person who has singularly contributed to raising the profile of tennis amongst girls in India, Sania Mirza.
The 30-year-old from Hyderabad has won six Grand Slams, and is the current World No 1 in Women’s doubles with Martina Hingis.
Mirza would love to add an Olympic Medal to her kitty at Rio in the mixed doubles category.
Tennis fans are in for a treat as the action now shifts to the Grass courts of Wimbledon, followed by the Olympics.
- Novak Djokovic (Picture by ABC News)
- Garbiñe Muguruza (Picture by commons.wikimedia.org)
- Leander Paes (Picture by thehansindia.com)
- Martina Hingis (Picture by Wikimedia.org)