Novak Djokovic is just one win away from his men’s-record 23rd Grand Slam singles championship. Djokovic will face Casper Ruud in the French Open final on Sunday. It is the No. 3-seeded Djokovic’s 34th major title match and No. 4 Ruud’s third.
By winning Sunday, Djokovic would break a tie with Rafael Nadal, who has 22 Slam trophies — including 14 at Roland Garros — but has been side-lined since January with a hip injury and had surgery during this French Open.
“I put myself, again, in a position to fight for another Grand Slam trophy. I’ve been very fortunate that most of the matches in tournaments I’ve played in the last few years, there is history on the line,” Djokovic said after eliminating No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals. “I like the feeling. It’s a privilege.”
The only two people in tennis history with 23 majors or more are Serena Williams, who retired after last season with 23, all during the Open era, and Margaret Court, who won 24, some during the amateur era.
Djokovic’s pursuit of a historic third title at each major event
Djokovic’s first Grand Slam title came in 2008 at the Australian Open, which he has won 10 times. He’s collected seven at Wimbledon, three at the U.S. Open and two at the French Open — in 2016 and 2021.
A victory over Ruud would also make Djokovic, a 36-year-old from Serbia, the first man to claim at least three championships at each major event.
Ruud is a 24-year-old from Norway who is bidding for his first Slam title. Last season, he was the runner-up to Nadal at the French Open and to Alcaraz at the U.S. Open.
Djokovic has won all four previous matchups against Ruud, taking all eight sets they have played against each other.
“I’m going to have to try to come up with a better game plan,” Ruud said. “And just know I’m going to have to play my best game — my ‘A’ game, my best level that I’ve ever played — if I want to have a chance against him.”