T365 Recalls: A day that ‘sucked’ for Andy Murray yet he was ‘proud’ to share in Novak Djokovic’s special day

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Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at the 2016 French Open

Andy Murray suffered his eighth Grand Slam final defeat as Novak Djokovic finally took the French Open title and with it his place in the highest pantheon of tennis on this day in 2016.

The world No 1 became the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four trophies at the same time after a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 victory in his fourth final at Roland Garros.

To achieve something even Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fell short of in the same era is truly remarkable and, after winning his 12th Slam title, Djokovic moved within five of Federer’s all-time record.

For Murray, it was an all-too familiar feeling as high hopes gave way to helplessness in the face of Djokovic’s brilliance, with five of his final defeats coming against the man he first faced as an 11-year-old.

The Scot, the first British man in 79 years to reach the final in Paris, fought for all he was worth in the fourth set but ultimately he had no answer.

Djokovic lay flat on his back in the clay as he soaked in his achievement. He first reached the semi-finals in 2007 and nine years and four finals later, finally the Coupe des Mousquetaries was his.

“It’s a very special moment,” he said. “Perhaps the biggest of my career.”

Twelve months earlier, Djokovic at last defeated Rafael Nadal only for Stan Wawrinka to produce a stunning display in the final.

The Paris crowd, aware of just how desperate Djokovic was to lift their trophy, gave him a prolonged ovation.

Murray said: “To Novak, this is his day. What he’s achieved the last 12 months is phenomenal, winning all four of the grand slams in one year is an amazing achievement and this is something that is so rare in tennis.

“It’s going to take a long time for it to happen again. Everyone here is extremely lucky to see it. Me personally, being on the opposite side, it sucks to lose the match but I’m proud to be part of today.”

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