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Stefanos Tsitsipas Learned That His Grandma Died Just Five Minutes Before His French Open Final Against Novak Djokovic

John Berry. Getty Images.


ATP.com

Yesterday Stefanos Tsitsipas went to war with Novak Djokovic in the French Open final. Yes, Novak won an epic match and I will get to that, but as Rico Bosco always says, some things are bigger than sports. Despite racing to a fast start and going up two sets to love, Stefanos couldn't hold off Djokovic and lost in five. It was one helluva effort from the Greek God, especially when you find out what he was dealing with…

Stefanos took to IG last night and revealed that he learned of his grandmother's passing just five minutes before taking the court. Biggest match of your entire life and you get that bomb dropped on you. Goddamn…

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Tsitsipas' grandmother became completely blind over the last five years. She never got to see him play professionally. 

As you can imagine they were incredibly close and it had to have been on Stef's mind throughout the ups and downs of the match. What's crazy is the level of play he brought to the court to start off, racing to a commanding two sets to love lead. I mean he was flat out kicking Djokovic's ass all over the joint. It was some Brett Favre MNF against the Raiders type shit and it was incredible to watch. 

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Novak then did what he does best and hit the reset button. I don't know if there's a professional athlete who has the ability to flip a switch like he does no matter how bad things are looking. For two sets he looked completely disinterested in the match. He barely looked up at his player's box for any encouragement. He lacked the fire he normally brings to a grand slam final. On the brink of losing the match and letting number 19 slip away, the Serbian snapped out of it. Stefanos stood no chance once Novak got rolling. It was a fucking avalanche. I hate the guy with a burning passion, but his mental toughness is like no other. You can't crack him. Being up two sets on him means almost nothing once he locks in. He'll just wear you out until you lose all hope.  

After four hours and twelve minutes Novak had won his second ever French Open title. He became the first male player ever to win each grand slam at least twice in his career. Dude's a freak, and now just one slam behind both Rafa and Fed for the most ever (20). I accepted a few years ago that Roger wouldn't end up with the record, but damn would it have been nice for Stefanos to steal this one and delay the inevitable. Finding out he lost his grandma just moments before taking the court just breaks your heart. Would have been an even more incredible feat if he ended up winning, but not every story has a happy ending. He's a super like-able fella with a good spirit and confidence within. Tsitsipas is going to win multiple grand slams in the near future, it's a certainty. He's only 22 years old and getting better by the tournament. There's really no surface he's weak on, it's just a matter of breaking through and hoisting the trophy. If you weren't a fan of Stefanos before this tournament, I gotta imagine you're rooting for him moving forward. The guy is awesome. 

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That wraps up a wild French Open tournament. One that featured Naomi Osaka's controversial withdrawal following her refusal to speak to the media and a threat of her being defaulted. Roger Federer returned, won 3 matches, looked good, and then withdrew himself so he could be ready for Wimbledon. The women's draw had tons of big names get knocked out early leading to a final with two unfamiliar names. In fact Barbora Krejčíková ended up winning the single and doubles title at the event. Not too bad huh? Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic played one of the better matches you'll ever see in the semis. It was so good the French Government delayed their covid curfew so the fans wouldn't have to go home mid-match. We had a 5 set thriller in the finals as well. The French had everything. Now it's time for the grass. Wimbledon starts in two weeks, let's fucking go. 

P.S. The French Open runner up trophy has to be the worst trophy in the world. Motherfucker got a plate.