The Serbian beat the Spaniard in an epic duel and will face the 22-year-old Greek, a serious candidate to break with the hegemony of the “Big Three.”
Dethroning Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal did not grant the scepter to Serbian Novak Djokovic, who will have to fight him in a generational duel against Greek Stefanos Tsitsipa s, 14 years younger, a neophyte on the last step of a Grand Slam.
The Serbian, number 1 in the world, already knows what it is like to beat Nadal in Paris and not lift the title. It happened to him in 2015, when he endorsed the Spanish the second defeat of his career on Parisian clay, but then fell in the final against the Swiss Stan Wawrinka.
Now, Djokovic has a new opportunity with two extra awards: to become the first tennis player in the Open Era to win at least twice all the Grand Slam and to place for the first time in his career one of Nadal and the Swiss Roger Federer.
His name would be marked once again in history. Because for the second time, he would win the title that Nadal has deprived him of so many times. He finally managed to defeat in complete form in an exalted duel in the semifinals.
But Tsitsipas also has his arguments, not in vain is he the tennis player who has been doing the best season, with 39 victories, 22 of them on clay, where he only has three defeats, against the Norwegian Casper Ruud in Madrid, against Nadal in Barcelona and Djokovic in Rome.
But in Monte Carlo, he raised his first 1,000 Masters. He arrived in Paris with a particular determination, ready to lead the generation that has aspired to force the replacement of the so-called “Big 3” for years.
To do so, he will have to defeat the world number 1 in his first final, after having done it in the quarterfinals with the Russian number 2, Daniil Medvedev, and become the youngest winner of a great since the Argentine Juan Martín del Potro in the 2009 US Open.
After defeating German Alexander Zverev in the semifinals, Tsitsipas has already made sure to snatch world number 4 from Thiem and can overtake Nadal at number 3 if he lifts the cup. The Spaniard would leave the ranking podium for the first time since June 2017, just after reconquering Roland Garros after two years of drought in Paris, his most extended period without a title since lifting the first in 2005.