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French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic says he was in self-doubt after dropping 2 sets

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic attributed his comeback in French Open final from two sets down to winning the title to a small break that helped him bury self-doubts.

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Paris Published on: June 14, 2021 11:41 IST
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Novak Djokovic poses with the French Open trophy in Paris on Sunday.

World No. 1 Novak Djokovic attributed his comeback in French Open final from two sets down to winning the title to a small break that helped him bury self-doubts.

After losing the first two sets 6-7(6), 2-6, the Serb left the Court Philippe-Chatrier for a break and returned a changed player as he downed fifth-seed Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas to win his second title at Roland Garros as well as his 19th Grand Slam title. Djokovic won the last three sets -- 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

"To be honest, I was never really vocal when I speak to myself. I keep those internal conversations internally in my head," Djokovic said in his post-match media conference.

"There is always two voices inside: one is telling you that you cannot do it, that it is done, it is finished. That voice was pretty strong after that second set.

"I felt that that was a time for me to actually vocalise the other voice and try to suppress the first one that was saying I cannot make it. I told myself I can do it and encouraged myself. I strongly started to repeat that inside of my mind, and tried to live it with my entire being."

Djokovic said that slowly he got into his groove and started playing well.

"Once I started playing in that third set, especially in the first few games, I saw where my game was at, it kind of supported that second voice that was more positive, more encouraging," he added.

"After that there was not much of a doubt for me."

Djokovic, who also won Australian Open, is the only player in Open Era to win every Grand Slam title at least twice in his career. He is also the third player in tennis history to do it after former Australian stars Roy Emerson and Rod Laver.

"Of course, I am thrilled and very proud of this achievement. Being part of the history of the sport that I love with all my heart is always something that is very inspiring and very fulfilling for me," Djokovic said.

He called Sunday's final victory, that he secured in over four hours, as one of the three best achievements of his life.

"This probably ranks at the top three all-time achievements and experiences that I have had in my professional tennis career: going through a four-and-a-half hour battle with Rafa Nadal on his court, then bouncing back after not practising yesterday, just coming in today with as much as recharged batteries and energy regained to fight another battle of four-and-a-half hours against Tsitsipas," he said.

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