PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 05: Novak Djokovic of Serbia celebrates victory during the Men’s Singles final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day fifteen of the 2016 French Open at Roland Garros on June 5, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic joined quite the exclusive club in the tennis world on Sunday. After capturing what must have felt like an elusive French Open title on Sunday, after keeping Andy Murray at a distance, Djokovic finally got a chance to celebrate a French Open championship. In doing so, Djokovic captured the one last piece of a career grand slam, thus making him the eighth men’s tennis player to accomplish such a feat.

Djokovic joins the likes of Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in owning a championship at the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. Nadal was the last to pull off the career grand slam, doing so in 2010. In fact, it was Nadal who posed one of the major hurdles for Djokovic on his way to a similar accomplishment.

Djokovic fell in the French Open championship round against Nadal twice before (2012 and 2014) and to Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka. Nadal, of course, withdrew from the French Open this year with a wrist injury. Nadal has won the French Open nine times since 2005. With no Nadal and no Roger Federer, the path to a possible career grand slam must have been a little easier for Djokovic to manage, but he still had to go out and take it. This is always so much easier said than done, and nothing should take away from the career achievement for the newest grand slam champion.

It took Djokovic eight years between his Australian Open championship in 2008 and his French Open title to pull off the feat, which is now the longest span between first and final grand slam titles. It was worth the first. Perhaps the extra time to put it all together makes this a sweeter moment for the tennis star. He now deserves to be compared against the greats of the game, if he was not already, and arguably gives tennis fans the greatest run in the men’s side of the court in years. It wasn’t all that long ago it seemed the women’s side of the sport was much more intriguung and interesting. Between Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, the scale has tipped more in balance.

The French Open has been the last part of a career grand slam for four other tennis legends as well. Fred Perry (England, 1935), Don Budge (USA, 1938), Agassi (USA, 1999) and Federer (Switzerland, 2009) saw the culmination of their career grand slam quest concluded in the French Open.

Congratulations to Novak Djokovic.

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.