Novak Djokovic made history on Sunday, winning a record 23rd Grand Slam singles title as he claimed his third trophy at the French Open.

The 36-year-old overcame a rough start to overhaul three-time finalist at the majors, Casper Ruud, defeating the Norwegian 7-6 (1), 6-3, 7-5  in three and a quarter hours.

Djokovic passed Rafael Nadal’s 22 Grand Slam titles to join Serena Williams on 23 – the second-most in all the tennis archives.

His win came a decade and a half after his first in Melbourne, 2008; the veteran fell to his back on the clay as Ruud sent a return wide on second match point..

Roland Garros Paris French Open 2023 Novak Djokovic wins Men’s singles Final, a record 23 grand slams
Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

Djokovic has now won his last 21 matches (US Open, Australian Open and Paris) at the majors and will return to No. 1 on Monday for a 388th week as emphasis shifts from clay to grass in the run-up to Wimbledon.

“This is a special moment for me in my career, this is a special place for me,” Djokovic said during the Chatrier ceremony with Yannick Noah – last French player to win here 40 years ago – handing over the trophy.

“It’s no coincidence that this tournament is always the toughest for me to win. There’s a lot of emotion for me inside and out.

“I’m very, very proud.”

Djokovic becomes the first man to have won at least three titles at each of the four Slams 

He now stands a perfect 5-0 over Norwegian fourth seed Ruud, having never lost a set in that series; he also becomes the oldest Paris champion, replacing Rafael Nadal (36 years, 2 days).

“I’m beyond fortunate and blessed to win 23 Grand Slams,” Djokovic said. “It’s an incredible feeling.”

The winner paid tribute to Ruud, praising the Scandinavian’s humanity.

“In today’s world it’s important to note when someone has real human values.Your team and your family have been super nice to me and my team, I have great respect for that.

“I’m sorry for the result today, I know it was not the best way to finish for you.

Roland Garros Paris French Open 2023 Day Novak Djokovic (SRB) wins Men’s singles Final, a record 23 grand slams
Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“I wish you to win against anybody but me,” he joked.

Ruud got away to a fast start in a first set which took 81 minutes to complete.

The Norwegian took a 3-0 lead on a break, with Djokovic contributing nearly 10 unforced errors. 

But the top seed began to find his game trailing 4-1 and break for 3-4 as Ruud stoned an overhead smash after a massive exchange.

Djokovic kept his comeback momentum to force a tiebreaker, where he dominated to claim the set on the first of five chances.

The Serb found his rhythm in the second set, with Ruud saving two set points in the eight game to trail 5-3 before Djokovic finished off that set with the first of three more winning chances – backhand down the line to the empty court.

The third set stayed on serve until Djokovic broke for 6-5 and closed out victory moments later.

Ruud was the first to pay tribute to his winning opponent.

“Another day, another record,” he said. ‘”Another day of writing tennis history.

“It’s tough to explain how incredible this is and what an inspiration you are to people around the world.

“Probably this victory tastes the best of all.”

Main photo:- Roland Garros French Open 2023 Novak Djokovic with Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy after wins Men’s singles Final, a record 23 grand slams by Photo Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd