Novak Djokovic Wins French Open, Becomes All-Time Leader In Grand Slam Titles Despite COVID Vaccine Mandates Keeping Him Out Of Two Tournaments

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Novak Djokovic won the French Open on Sunday defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets in the final match. For Djokovic, he now owns 23 career Grand Slam titles, one more than Rafael Nadal for most among men’s tennis players. Of course, Djokovic made headlines with his refusal to receive the COVID vaccine.

Thanks to his vaccine stance, Australia and the United States denied him entry into their countries in 2022. Because of that, Djokovic did not compete in either the Australian Open or US Open last year.

Despite being left out of those two tournaments, he managed to break Nadal’s record to become the winningest men’s player in Grand Slam history.

Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with the winners trophy as he points to the number 23 on his jacket after victory against Casper Ruud of Norway in the Men's Singles Final match of the 2023 French Open.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates with the winners trophy as he points to the number 23 (Grand Slam victories) on his jacket after victory against Casper Ruud of Norway in the Men’s Singles Final match of the 2023 French Open at Roland Garros. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Margaret Court won 24 Grand Slam titles in her career, leaving Djokovic one short of the record for any player regardless of gender.

OutKick founder Clay Travis has been a major supporter of Djokovic’s decision to hold strong on his beliefs that he does not need a COVID vaccine since he’s a young, healthy athlete.

Travis congratulated Djokovic on Twitter after the victory and praised his bravery.

Former US Open champion Andy Roddick made the case that Djokovic is the greatest tennis player of all-time. Roddick pointed out that those who disagree are likely considering Djokovic’s vaccine status as part of his legacy. Which, of course, is absurd. On the court, Djokovic is clearly the best.

Speaking of champions happy to credit Novak Djokovic’s incredible accomplishment, Tom Brady was on hand for the final match.

Djokovic also broke Nadal’s record to become the oldest French Open champion. He bested Nadal by 18 days.

Brady, of course, knows something about winning titles at an advanced age. Tom Brady is the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl after the age of 40. And he did it twice.

Djokovic’s first chance to tie Court will come at Wimbledon next month. He’s also expected to finally be allowed to compete in this year’s US Open in late August.

After winning the Australian Open earlier this year, Djokovic has a chance to accomplish one of the few feats he has yet to conquer: winning all four Grand Slam titles in one year.

Three times he’s won three of the four, but never all four in one year. He came close in 2021, winning the first three before losing in the US Open final.

Only one player — Rod Laver in 1969 — has won all four tournaments in one year.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on X – formerly known as Twitter: @RealDanZak

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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