Djokovic v Immortality

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
As the US Open proceeds, and Novak Djokovic pursues a place in tennis history, I'm going to compare his progress to previous attempts to win The Grand Slam at the final event of the season.

The Quest for Tennis Immortality has been made by:

1933 Jack Crawford
1938 Donald Budge
1956 Lew Hoad
1962 Rod Laver
1969 Rod Laver
2021 Novak Djokovic

Hold on, it's going to be a hell of a ride!

---------------------------------------------------

GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
2nd seed, 'Gentleman' Jack Crawford dropped one set on his way to the semi-final against future US champion, Wilmer Allison. Crawford found himself two sets to one down before struggling back to win through to the final in five. Top seed, the all-time great Ellsworth Vines, was a surprise loser in the quarter finals.
Crawford lost the first set of the final on a soggy Melbourne court to Californian Keith Gledhill, but fought back to take the first major of the year in four sets.

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
Given a bye in the first round, top seed Budge didn't drop a set on his way to the final (including defeating three times champion Adrian Quist in the semis). The world was denied a USA v **** Germany final when Gottfried von Cramm lost in the semis to John Bromwich. Budge showed no mercy to future two times champ Bromwich in the final, defeating him in straight sets in under an hour, including a breadstick in the final set.

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
Top seed, Hoad, came back from two sets to one down in the quarter finals against two-times slam winner, Mervyn Rose, before dispensing with future three times slam champ, Neale Fraser, in straights in the semis. The final saw Hoad overcome future pro/am slam record holder and ATG Ken Rosewall in a tight four setter.

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, survived a titanic Third round struggle with Geoffrey Pares (including an 18-16 2nd set -the days before tiebreaks!) before making his way through to the Sydney final against current Australian and US champion, Emerson. Laver suffered a bagel in the 2nd set but came through in four sets to win the championship.

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
At the first open Australian championships, top seed, Laver, saw his greatest rival, Ken Rosewall, suffer a surprising third round loss to Spain's Andres Gimeno. Laver, meanwhile, defeated new slam record holder Emerson before surviving a titanic five-set struggle in the semi-finals against Tony Roche, won by the extraordinary score line 7-5, 22-20, 9-11, 1-6, 6-3. In the final he faced Rosewall's conqueror, Gimeno (who remains to this day the oldest first time slam winner at 34 years of age). Laver won easily in straight sets to get his quest for a record breaking second Grand Slam underway.

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
Top seed and Australian record holder, Djokovic, came back from two sets to love down against the USA's Taylor Fritz before defeating US Open finalist, Zverev, in the quarter-finals. Old foe, Nadal, fell in the quarters to Tsitsipas, leaving Djokovic to face Russian, Daniil Medvedev, in the first slam final of the season. Djokovic won easily in straight sets.

---------------------------------------------------
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
2nd seed, Crawford, lost only two sets on his way to the final. There, he had to face reigning champion, seven times slam winner and home-grown hero Henri Cochet, one of the legendary Four Musketeers. On this occasion, however, it was Crawford who emerged victorious with surprising ease, winning the final in straight sets.

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
Top-seed, Budge, survived a five set scare against Kukuljevic from Yugoslavia in the fourth round. From there he made his way to the final, untroubled. He faced 6ft 3in serve and volley monster Roderich Menzel (then playing for Czechoslovakia but later, after part of his country was invaded, for **** Germany). Budge dispatched him in straight sets.

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
Top seed, Hoad, survived a five set struggle in the third round against Frenchman, Abdesselam, before defeating two Italians in a row (one of whom, Pietrangeli, would become a two time slam winner). In the final Hoad played Sweden's Sven Davidson (who would win Roland-Garros the next season) and easily beat him in straight sets.

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, had a mighty struggle to even make it to the final at Roland-Garros. He dropped sets in the third and fourth round before finding himself match-point down in the quarters to Martin Mulligan. Laver finally prevailed only to find himself locked in another five setter against Fraser in the semis. The reward for winning was a final against old rival, Emerson -conqueror of reigning champion Santana. Emerson took a two sets to love lead but Laver fought back, finally winning 6-2 in the fifth. He had survived the second leg of the Grand Slam, but it was a close run thing.

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, found himself two sets to love down in the 2nd round against Crealy. Fighting back to win in five he saw off future slam winners Stan Smith and Gimeno to reach the final against his greatest rival and current French champion, Ken Rosewall, who had defeated him in the first Open French final the previous year. Rosewall was considered the better clay player (Laver's French pro major had been won on wood), but on the day Laver dominated his old adversary, defeating him in straight sets.

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
The last slam event to date to feature the Big 3 saw top seed, Djokovic, struggling in the Fourth Round; two sets to love down to Italian, Musetti, before turning the match around completely in the final three sets. One time French champion, Federer, withdrew before his quarter final match (apparently to prepare for the grass court season). The semi-final featured the clash of the Titans, #1 seed Djokovic against 13 time French champ, Nadal. The Spaniard was 5-0 up in the first set and apparently on course to repeat his triumph of a few months previously but Djokovic fought back and managed to slay the Roland-Garros giant in four sets. The final saw Djokovic two sets down against Tsitsipas before he staged another of his patented comebacks to seize his second French crown.

---------------------------------------------------
GRAND SLAM THIRD LEG

WIMBLEDON CHAMPIONSHIPS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
The reigning champion, Vines, was the firm favourite to retain his crown. Crawford, seeded two, was taken to five sets in the first round against Maier of Spain but otherwise made an untroubled path to the final. The 1933 final is considered one of the greatest of all-time. It was a baseline battle with very little volleying: Vines power against Crawford's defence. They reached the fifth set having won twenty three games each. They remained locked at 4-4 until Crawford, serving first, took a 5-4 lead. He suddenly decided to start charging the net on Vines' service. The American, through a combination of shock and fatigue couldn't find any passing winners and Gentleman Jack won the title and a shot at the then un-named Grand Slam.

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
With three times champion Fred Perry gone to the pros, top-seed Budge was overwhelming favourite to retain his title. True to form, he reached the final without dropping a set. Budge combined a legendary backhand with a fierce serve, sublime volleys and an aggressive game, learned from Perry. His victim in the final was Britain's Bunny Austin who was destroyed 6-1, 6-0, 6-3.

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
The Australian tennis twins, Lew Hoad and Ken Rosewall, justified their #1 and #2 seeding by reaching the final with little fuss (Hoad dropped one set in the quarters to Mal Anderson). Hoad and Rosewall were tennis opposites: Hoad was strongly built with a powerful forehand and serve, Rosewall was slightly built and famed for his return of serve and legendary backhand. Hoad had a reputation as a lazy player but on this day he rose to the occasion, defeating his compatriot in four close sets.

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, had set himself the target of winning the Grand Slam. All went well until the quarter finals when an inspired Manuel Santana found himself up 16-14, 5-1. The Rockhampton Rocket then set his boosters to full-power, storming back to take the match and create a momentum that swept him to the final. His scheduled opponent, Emerson, had to retire in the 4th round with an injured toe. His opponent, Marty Mulligan, made his way to the final, hoping to go one better than the French were he had match-point against Laver. But Rod was merciless, sweeping Mulligan aside in straight sets for the loss of only five games. The Grand Slam was on!

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
The year of the legendary Gonzales-Pasarell match saw top-seed Laver fight back from two sets to love down against Lall of India in round two. He was also taken to five by future champ Stan Smith in the quarters before a closely fought four set victory against future champ Arthur Ashe. The final against 1967 champion, Newcombe (who would win twice more) saw the younger man change his normal tactics to rob Laver of power. It almost worked. Laver looked unsettled and lost the first set before steadying the ship to take the title in four sets..

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
Top seed Djokovic lost the first set of the championships to Britain's Draper but then didn't lose another as he progressed to the final. #2 seed Medvedev was a surprise fourth round loser to Hurkacz of Poland, who proceeded to defeat Federer in straight sets (including a bagel). In the final, Djokovic faced Matteo Berrettini, the seventh seed, who won the first set. The Serb regrouped to take the title in four sets, becoming the first man in 52 years to win the first three slams. Immortality beckoned...
 
Last edited:
As the US Open proceeds, and Novak Djokovic pursues a place in tennis history, I'm going to compare his progress to previous attempts to win The Grand Slam at the final event of the season.

The previous attempts have been made by:

1933 Jack Crawford
1938 Donald Budge
1956 Lew Hoad
1962 Rod Laver
1969 Rod Laver

Will Djokovic join Laver and Budge as Grand Slam legends or will the prize slip from his grasp like Crawford and Hoad?

Hold on, it's going to be a hell of a ride!
The ride:

 
D

Deleted member 770948

Guest
Nadal and Federer are immortal.
Djokovic....
Djokovic won 4 slams in a row, several years ago, and I don't even remember it.....because the media doesn't talk about it.....and nothing he does this year will matter either....
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)

2nd seed Jack Crawford dropped one set on his way to the semi-final against future US champion, Wilmer Allison. Crawford found himself two sets to one down before struggling back to win through to the final in five. Top seed, the all-time great Ellsworth Vines was a surprise loser in the quarter finals.
Crawford lost the first set of the final to Keith Gledhill, but fought back to take the first major of the year in four sets.
 
Last edited:

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)

Given a bye in the first round, top seed Budge didn't drop a set on his way to the final (including defeating three times champion Adrian Quist in the semis). The world was denied a USA v **** Germany final when Gottfried von Cramm lost in the semis to John Bromwich. Budge showed no mercy to future two times champ Bromwich in the final, defeating him in straight sets, including a breadstick in the final set.
 
Last edited:

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)

Top seed, Hoad, came back from two sets to one down in the quarter finals against two-times slam winner, Mervyn Rose, before dispensing with future three times slam champ, Neale Fraser, in straights in the semis. The final saw Hoad overcome future pro/am slam record holder and ATG Ken Rosewall in a tight four setter.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)

Top seed, Laver, survived a titanic Third round struggle with Geoffrey Pares (including an 18-16 2nd set (the days before tiebreaks!) before making his way to the final against current Australian and US champion, Emerson. Laver was bagelled in the 2nd set but came through in four sets to win the championship.
 

Lleytonstation

G.O.A.T.
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)

Top seed, Laver, survived a titanic Third round struggle with Geoffrey Pares (including an 18-16 2nd set (the days before tiebreaks!) before making his way to the final against current Australian and US champion, Emerson. Laver was bagelled in the 2nd set but came through in four sets to win the championship.
How many current grand slam holders did he play in the four finals?
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)

At the first open Australian championships, top seed, Laver, saw his greatest rival, Ken Rosewall, suffer a surprising third round loss to Spain's Andres Gimeno. Laver, meanwhile, defeated new slam record holder Emerson before surviving a titanic five-set struggle in the semi-finals against Tony Roche, won by the extraordinary score line 7-5, 22-20, 9-11, 1-6, 6-3. In the final he faced Rosewall's conqueror, Gimeno (who remains to this day the oldest first time slam winner at 34 years of age). Laver won easily in straight sets to get his quest for a record breaking second Grand Slam underway.
 
Last edited:

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)

Top seed and Australian record holder, Djokovic, came back from two sets to love down against the USA's Taylor Fritz before defeating US Open finalist, Zverev, in the quarter-finals. Old foe, Nadal, fell in the quarters to Tsitsipas, leaving Djokovic to face Russian, Daniil Medvedev, in the first slam final of the season. Djokovic won easily in straight sets.
 

PilotPete

Hall of Fame
Looks like OP is just trying to convince people he started watching tennis before 2010. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
 

UnforcedTerror

Hall of Fame
Lol! But I don't remember octogon being that bad of a poster. He/she is an angle compared to the other two.


No way in hell we see something like that from either Dullalot or strongrule.
 
Last edited:

Biotic

Hall of Fame
Lol! But I don't remember octogon being that bad of a poster. He/she is an angle compared to the other two.


No way in hell we something like that from either Dullalot or strongrule.
He was a bit annoying and dull with his 10-6, soon to be 11-6 (until it wasn't lol) etc, but I agree that gif needs an update.

Remove octogon and StrongRule, insert weakera and Yugram. :giggle:

Edit: MN should maybe put himself in there, too.
 

Nole Slam

G.O.A.T.
Lol! But I don't remember octogon being that bad of a poster. He/she is an angle compared to the other two.


No way in hell we something like that from either Dullalot or strongrule.
He was a bit annoying and dull with his 10-6, soon to be 11-6 (until it wasn't lol) etc, but I agree that gif needs an update.

Remove octogon and StrongRule, insert weakera and Yugram. :giggle:

Edit: MN should maybe put himself in there, too.
Talk to the creator of that gif. @Nuclear Warhead
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Winning the CYGS is not going to make it or break it for Novak in terms of sports immortality. He, Roger and Rafa are going to be remembered for quite a long time regardless, bc the three of them will likely be at the top of the Slam leaderboard for decades. The CYGS will just be another feather in Novak's hat. The media will make a big deal about it, sure.
 

Ogi44

Rookie
Nadal and Federer are immortal.
Djokovic....
Djokovic won 4 slams in a row, several years ago, and I don't even remember it.....because the media doesn't talk about it.....and nothing he does this year will matter either....
Because you are blind Nadal worshiper who dont care about the sport and his history, but only about one player alone. The rest of as who follow the game for decades, are very excited about the history being made.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
Because you are blind Nadal worshiper who dont care about the sport and his history, but only about one player alone. The rest of as who follow the game for decades, are very excited about the history being made.
Exactly. This thread is for fans of the history of the game, not for blind tribal loyalists.

I hope a Nadal fan running it will prove some Big 3 fans are not biased fanatics!
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
I'm going to collate the information in the original post so hopefully it will become increasingly interesting as the tournament progresses!
 
D

Deleted member 783101

Guest

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
2nd seed, Crawford, lost only two sets on his way to the final. There, he had to face reigning champion, seven times slam winner and home-grown hero Henri Cochet, one of the legendary Four Musketeers. On this occasion, however, it was Crawford who emerged victorious with surprising ease, winning the final in straight sets.
 

Sunny014

Legend
Exactly. This thread is for fans of the history of the game, not for blind tribal loyalists.

I hope a Nadal fan running it will prove some Big 3 fans are not biased fanatics!
You are no longer a Nadal fan, Nadal was a means to an end (to fuel your dislike for Federer by using Nadal against him) but now Nadal is a bit vestigial in this department, so Novak is your new poster boy. You are a bandwagon hopper
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
You are no longer a Nadal fan, Nadal was a means to an end (to fuel your dislike for Federer by using Nadal against him) but now Nadal is a bit vestigial in this department, so Novak is your new poster boy. You are a bandwagon hopper
I care about the game of tennis. As do many people here. A player going for the Grand Slam is an extremely rare event. It should be celebrated.

Please take your trolling elsewhere. Please don't try to ruin this thread the way you have so many others.
 

Sunny014

Legend
I care about the game of tennis. As do many people here. A player going for the Grand Slam is an extremely rare event. It should be celebrated.

Please take your trolling elsewhere. Please don't try to ruin this thread the way you have so many others.
A player going against the grand slam vs strong rivals would have been a case for celebrating.

But against a weak injury ridden field ? It is a case to mourn, Tennis is in decline it seems
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
Top-seed, Budge, survived a five set scare against Kukuljevic from Yugoslavia in the fourth round. From there he made his way to the final, untroubled. He faced 6ft 3in serve and volley monster Roderich Menzel (then playing for Czechoslovakia but later, after part of his country was invaded, for **** Germany). Budge dispatched him in straight sets.
 
Last edited:

MrFlip

Professional
GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN OPEN

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)

Top seed and Australian record holder, Djokovic, came back from two sets to love down against the USA's Taylor Fritz before defeating US Open finalist, Zverev, in the quarter-finals. Old foe, Nadal, fell in the quarters to Tsitsipas, leaving Djokovic to face Russian, Daniil Medvedev, in the first slam final of the season. Djokovic won easily in straight sets.
Djokovic was 2-0 sets before he felt his pain in his abdominal area
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
Top seed, Hoad, survived a five set struggle in the third round against Frenchman, Abdesselam, before defeating two Italians in a row (one of whom, Pietrangeli, would become a two time slam winner). In the final Hoad played Sweden's Sven Davidson (who would win Roland-Garros the next season) and easily beat him in straight sets.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, had a mighty struggle to even make it to the final at Roland-Garros. He dropped sets in the third and fourth round before finding himself match-point down in the quarters to Martin Mulligan. Laver finally prevailed only to find himself locked in another five setter against Fraser in the semis. The reward for winning was a final against old rival, Emerson -conqueror of reigning champion Santana. Emerson took a two sets to love lead but Laver fought back, finally winning 6-2 in the fifth. He had survived the second leg of the Grand Slam, but it was a close run thing.
 
Last edited:

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, found himself two sets to love down in the 2nd round against Crealy. Fighting back to win in five he saw off future slam winners Stan Smith and Gimeno to reach the final against his greatest rival and current French champion, Ken Rosewall, who had defeated him in the first Open French final the previous year. Rosewall was considered the better clay player (Laver's French pro major had been won on wood), but on the day Laver dominated his old adversary, defeating him in straight sets.
 

Spencer Gore

Hall of Fame
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
The last slam event to date to feature the Big 3 saw top seed, Djokovic, struggling in the Fourth Round; two sets to love down to Italian, Musetti, before turning the match around completely in the final three sets. One time French champion, Federer, withdrew before his quarter final match (apparently to prepare for the grass court season). The semi-final featured the clash of the Titans, #1 seed Djokovic against 13 time French champ, Nadal. The Spaniard was 5-0 up in the first set and apparently on course to repeat his triumph of a few months previously but Djokovic fought back and managed to slay the Roland-Garros giant in four sets. The final saw Djokovic two sets down against Tsitsipas before he staged another of his patented comebacks to seize his second French crown.
 

gadge

Professional
Nadal and Federer are immortal.
Djokovic....
Djokovic won 4 slams in a row, several years ago, and I don't even remember it.....because the media doesn't talk about it.....and nothing he does this year will matter either....
Sure live in your little bubble, life’s better that way.
 
Djoker is already Open era GOAT whether he wins it or not. And if he doesn't, who cares? Laver only won a calendar slam on 2 surfaces. Nole has already won on 3. LOL
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
Wasn't the AO formerly the 4th leg of the slam given that it was played before Christmas and not in January as it is now?
 

Nadalgaenger

G.O.A.T.
As the US Open proceeds, and Novak Djokovic pursues a place in tennis history, I'm going to compare his progress to previous attempts to win The Grand Slam at the final event of the season.

The Quest for Tennis Immortality has been made by:

1933 Jack Crawford
1938 Donald Budge
1956 Lew Hoad
1962 Rod Laver
1969 Rod Laver
2021 Novak Djokovic

Hold on, it's going to be a hell of a ride!

---------------------------------------------------

GRAND SLAM FIRST LEG

AUSTRALIAN CHAMPIONSHIPS

1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
2nd seed, 'Gentleman' Jack Crawford dropped one set on his way to the semi-final against future US champion, Wilmer Allison. Crawford found himself two sets to one down before struggling back to win through to the final in five. Top seed, the all-time great Ellsworth Vines, was a surprise loser in the quarter finals.
Crawford lost the first set of the final on a soggy Melbourne court to Californian Keith Gledhill, but fought back to take the first major of the year in four sets.

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
Given a bye in the first round, top seed Budge didn't drop a set on his way to the final (including defeating three times champion Adrian Quist in the semis). The world was denied a USA v **** Germany final when Gottfried von Cramm lost in the semis to John Bromwich. Budge showed no mercy to future two times champ Bromwich in the final, defeating him in straight sets in under an hour, including a breadstick in the final set.

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
Top seed, Hoad, came back from two sets to one down in the quarter finals against two-times slam winner, Mervyn Rose, before dispensing with future three times slam champ, Neale Fraser, in straights in the semis. The final saw Hoad overcome future pro/am slam record holder and ATG Ken Rosewall in a tight four setter.

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, survived a titanic Third round struggle with Geoffrey Pares (including an 18-16 2nd set -the days before tiebreaks!) before making his way through to the Sydney final against current Australian and US champion, Emerson. Laver suffered a bagel in the 2nd set but came through in four sets to win the championship.

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
At the first open Australian championships, top seed, Laver, saw his greatest rival, Ken Rosewall, suffer a surprising third round loss to Spain's Andres Gimeno. Laver, meanwhile, defeated new slam record holder Emerson before surviving a titanic five-set struggle in the semi-finals against Tony Roche, won by the extraordinary score line 7-5, 22-20, 9-11, 1-6, 6-3. In the final he faced Rosewall's conqueror, Gimeno (who remains to this day the oldest first time slam winner at 34 years of age). Laver won easily in straight sets to get his quest for a record breaking second Grand Slam underway.

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
Top seed and Australian record holder, Djokovic, came back from two sets to love down against the USA's Taylor Fritz before defeating US Open finalist, Zverev, in the quarter-finals. Old foe, Nadal, fell in the quarters to Tsitsipas, leaving Djokovic to face Russian, Daniil Medvedev, in the first slam final of the season. Djokovic won easily in straight sets.

---------------------------------------------------
GRAND SLAM SECOND LEG

ROLAND-GARROS


1933 JACK CRAWFORD (Australia)
2nd seed, Crawford, lost only two sets on his way to the final. There, he had to face reigning champion, seven times slam winner and home-grown hero Henri Cochet, one of the legendary Four Musketeers. On this occasion, however, it was Crawford who emerged victorious with surprising ease, winning the final in straight sets.

1938 DONALD BUDGE (USA)
Top-seed, Budge, survived a five set scare against Kukuljevic from Yugoslavia in the fourth round. From there he made his way to the final, untroubled. He faced 6ft 3in serve and volley monster Roderich Menzel (then playing for Czechoslovakia but later, after part of his country was invaded, for **** Germany). Budge dispatched him in straight sets.

1956 LEW HOAD (Australia)
Top seed, Hoad, survived a five set struggle in the third round against Frenchman, Abdesselam, before defeating two Italians in a row (one of whom, Pietrangeli, would become a two time slam winner). In the final Hoad played Sweden's Sven Davidson (who would win Roland-Garros the next season) and easily beat him in straight sets.

1962 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, had a mighty struggle to even make it to the final at Roland-Garros. He dropped sets in the third and fourth round before finding himself match-point down in the quarters to Martin Mulligan. Laver finally prevailed only to find himself locked in another five setter against Fraser in the semis. The reward for winning was a final against old rival, Emerson -conqueror of reigning champion Santana. Emerson took a two sets to love lead but Laver fought back, finally winning 6-2 in the fifth. He had survived the second leg of the Grand Slam, but it was a close run thing.

1969 ROD LAVER (Australia)
Top seed, Laver, found himself two sets to love down in the 2nd round against Crealy. Fighting back to win in five he saw off future slam winners Stan Smith and Gimeno to reach the final against his greatest rival and current French champion, Ken Rosewall, who had defeated him in the first Open French final the previous year. Rosewall was considered the better clay player (Laver's French pro major had been won on wood), but on the day Laver dominated his old adversary, defeating him in straight sets.

2021 NOVAK DJOKOVIC (Serbia)
The last slam event to date to feature the Big 3 saw top seed, Djokovic, struggling in the Fourth Round; two sets to love down to Italian, Musetti, before turning the match around completely in the final three sets. One time French champion, Federer, withdrew before his quarter final match (apparently to prepare for the grass court season). The semi-final featured the clash of the Titans, #1 seed Djokovic against 13 time French champ, Nadal. The Spaniard was 5-0 up in the first set and apparently on course to repeat his triumph of a few months previously but Djokovic fought back and managed to slay the Roland-Garros giant in four sets. The final saw Djokovic two sets down against Tsitsipas before he staged another of his patented comebacks to seize his second French crown.
Immortal post!
 
Top