Tennis

Novak Djokovic thanks boy for ‘tactical advice’

Novak Djokovic said he gave away his French Open-winning racket to a young boy watching courtside for "giving me the right tactics".

The world No. 1 claimed a 19th Grand Slam title when he came from two sets down to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.

At the end of the 4hr 11min final, the 34-year-old Serb handed his racket to the boy, who jumped for joy.

"He was in my ear the entire match basically, especially when I was two sets to love down. He was encouraging me. He was actually giving me tactics, as well," said Djokovic.

"He was like, 'Hold your serve, get an easy first ball, then dictate, go to his backhand'. He was coaching me literally.

"I found that very cute, very nice. So I felt like giving the racket... That was kind of my gratitude for him sticking with me and supporting me."

After adding the French Open to his Australian Open crown, Djokovic became the first man in 52 years to claim all four Majors twice after Rod Laver and Roy Emerson.

Should Djokovic retain his Wimbledon title and triumph again at the US Open, he would become only the third man after Don Budge in 1937 and Laver, in 1962 and 1969, to complete the calendar Slam.

Seven-time Major winner Mats Wilander believes it could happen, saying on Eurosport: "He looks young, he looks so fresh at the end, he looks scary good and motivated." - AFP

Tennis