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The Draw: 30 June

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Sunday, 5 June 2016 18:04 PM BST
French Open 2016: Djokovic overcomes Murray to win French Open & complete career Grand Slam
It’s taken 12 years and heartbreak in three finals but Novak Djokovic has finally won the French Open to complete the career Grand Slam. reports. READ MORE

The top-seeded Serb overcame first-time finalist Andy Murray, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 on the main Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris, the sun coming out for the first time in 10 days as Djokovic finally lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires. 

“It’s truly a very special moment, perhaps the biggest in my career,” Djokovic told the crowd in French after he fell on the clay, drawing a heart on the court, in homage to the watching Gustavo Kuerten, who did the same in 2001.

“It is very important for me, it’s something I always wanted to do in my life to win here in Roland Garros. I did the heart on the court - Guga (pointing to Kuerten) had given me permission to do it.”

“I’m sorry I don’t speak French,” said Murray, who was broken seven times as Djokovic consistently attacked after losing the first set. He congratulated Djokovic on a “phenomenal” achievement, and one “that won’t be repeated for a long time.”

Murray, who had been trying to become the first British man to win Roland Garros since Fred Perry in 1935, is now 2-5 against his old friend in slam finals.

Djokovic’s victory, which came after he lost two finals to Rafael Nadal and last year’s title match to Stan Wawrinka, means the 29-year-old joins Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Nadal and Fred Perry as the only men to have won each of the four slams at least once.

Djokovic also completed the so-called “Nole slam” of four in a row while his 12th Grand Slam title moves him within five of Federer’s all-time men’s record of 17.

And perhaps more importantly, Djokovic’ triumph puts him halfway to completing the coveted calendar year Grand Slam after he beat Murray at the Australian Open at the start of the year. Laver was the last man to achieve that feat, in 1969.   

Djokovic began brilliantly, breaking Murray to love as he threw in a few drop shots. But Murray broke back immediately on four forced errors and then broke for 3-1 with a superb lob. There was controversy at 5-3, 15-0, when a Murray serve was called out, over-ruled by the umpire and then the point was given to the Scot because Djokovic's return was long. The crowd whistled as Djokovic argued with the umpire but Murray held on to serve out the set as Djokovic missed a backhand.

The match turned at the start of the second set, when Djokovic saved a break point in the opening game and then began to open up. Ripping returns and dominating from the baseline, Djokovic upped his intensity. Under pressure, Murray double-faulted in the second game before Djokovic ran away with the set as he struck 25 winners and the crowd chanted “Nole, Nole.”

Murray held to start the third set and Djokovic was pushed to deuce on his opening service game but at 1-1, Murray netted a simple volley to give the Serb an early break. Murray, having spent almost five hours more on court than his opponent in the run-up to the final, looked a little jaded as Djokovic extended his lead. The Serb did have to save four break points at 4-1 but two games later, he served out with ease to move ahead by two sets to one.

The crowd were firmly on Djokovic’s side and Murray looked increasingly forlorn, muttering to himself, dropping serve once again at the start of the fourth set. Dictating play with his forehand, Djokovic calmly held to love as he moved within two games of the title.

After getting another break, the Serb was all smiles as he served for the career Grand Slam at 5-2, but Murray attacked to get the break as Djokovic played a few passive points.

Serving once again for the championship, the smile off his face, Djokovic set up two match points as Murray hit a lob long. Wavering once again, he hit a double fault on the first and a backhand wide on the second. But he kept it together on the third match point, winning it as Murray netted a backhand.