Novak Djokovic, pictured, is the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four grand-slam titles at the same time (AP).

Andy Murray praises Novak Djokovic after French Open final defeat

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History was made by Novak Djokovic rather than Andy Murray at the French Open but the Scot was still proud to have played his part.

Djokovic's 3-6 6-1 6-2 6-4 victory in the French Open showpiece saw him finally complete his set of slam titles and become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four trophies at the same time.

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Addressing the man born just a week later who he first played as an 11-year-old, 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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For Djokovic, this was the culmination of years of not quite getting across the line at Roland Garros.

Twelve months ago, he finally 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.

He said: "A lot has been going on in my mind ever since I arrived in Paris, but I felt like this year when I arrived that it's really different from any other year. The relationship and connection I had with fans and with people around.

"Obviously, as any other year, I was hoping that this is the year. I felt that support and love from the people around that allowed me to be sitting here with the trophy."

It was clear the moment Djokovic walked out onto Court Philippe Chatrier to a great roar and chants of 'Nole, Nole' that he would have the vast majority of the support if nothing else.

Murray recovered from dropping serve to love in the opening game to take the first set but, from saving a break point at the start of the second to leading 5-2 in the fourth, Djokovic barely put a foot wrong.

With victory at last within his grasp, Djokovic faltered, but he served it out at the second time of asking on his third match point.

The Serbian, who now has 12 slam titles, said: " We're all humans, and arriving so close like never before in my life to this trophy and winning it, I felt it. I felt the tension and excitement, all the emotions.

"On the last point I don't even remember what happened. It was like my spirit had left my body and I was just observing my body fight the last three, four exchanges, going left to right and hoping that Andy will make a mistake, which happened.

"A thrilling moment. One of the most beautiful I have had in my career."

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Novak Djokovic
French Open
Andy Murray

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