‘I had never exchanged a word with Novak Djokovic’, says ATP ace

Novak Djokovic needed four Roland Garros finals to lift the coveted trophy and achieve a Grand Slam in his career. After losing three finals in the last four years to Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka, Novak went all the way in 2016 to become only the eighth player with all four Major titles. Furthermore, the Serbian was the third player to hold all four Major titles at the same time after Don Budge and Rod Laver. It took Novak three hours and three minutes to defeat Andy Murray 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 in the title clash, overcoming a slow start to emerge on top with a solid performance as a rock from the second set. Djokovic secured his twelfth Major crown, leaving Bjorn Borg and Rod Laver behind. The Serbian approached Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, the only rivals left ahead of him. Murray defeated Djokovic in the Rome Masters final a few weeks earlier, hoping to become the first British winner of Roland Garros since Fred Perry in 1935. Andy got off to a promising start before Novak stepped up to seal the deal and lift the elusive trophy. Djokovic broke at love in the first game of the encounter, and Murray took the third break chance in the second game to erase the deficit and put his name on the scoreboard. Andy took command and won the next three games in dominant fashion, giving up just two points and building a 4-1 lead. The Brit held Game 7 after three deuces to stay in front and converted the third set point in Game 9, when the Serb conceded a setback for 6-3 in 45 minutes. Andy had never lost a Roland Garros match after winning the first match, but he was still a long way from victory against such a strong opponent. Novak fended off a break chance early in the second set and got a break in the second game after a double fault from Andy. Djokovic only gave up three points after the opening blow in the next three games, and the pressure was on Murray to keep up.

Nole’s participation in the US Open is still a doubt

Zapata Miralles, who was sought after by the Spanish press following his exploits at Roland Garros, recounted a chance meeting with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the locker room. “I had the opportunity to speak with Novak [Djokovic] in the locker room, I had never exchanged a word with him, only he confronted me speaking in English and I got a little caught up, I got nervous (laughs),” Zapata Miralles said. The player from Valencia also added that the 20-time Grand Slam also greeted warmly him during a training session the next day. “It was five minutes of talk, he was interested in me, he congratulated me, he asked me about Valencia, super nice. The next day he saw us training and immediately came to greet us, as if he were a lifelong colleague (laughs),” Zapata Miralles said.