After 13 days of hard fought tennis on the clay courts of the French Open, the tournament draws to it’s close with one final bang in the battle for supremacy between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray – the world no.1 and 2 in the men’s circuit respectively.
Interestingly, Djokovic and Murray have managed to do what Federer and Nadal have done –scratching your head! Don’t worry, we’ll tell you. Murray and Djokovic in today’s finale mark their meeting in the grand finale of all the 4 grand slams – something that Federer and Nadal have managed.
Coming into the finals : Djokovic has had a much stronger presence on the court – managing to win all his matches without letting them slip into the 5th and last deciding set. While for Murray, 2 of his first 2 matches at this year’s Rolland Garros went into the 5th and deciding set, something to ponder about in regard to consistency coming into this all-important match.
Djokovic in his last match beat the fairly young Thiem in 3 sets which speaks volumes of his strong form and command on the clay court this season. Murray in his semi took on the last year’s champion in Wawrinka and while the match lasted 4 sets, Murray looked in supreme command for the most of it – managing to secure a relatively comfortable win against the defending champ. The match will give Murray a great deal of morale boost having started fairly slowly in the tournament.
Head to Head : Djokovic has managed to win the 7 out of their last 9 matches at the majors, otherwise the record is 12 wins from 14 matches (including matches outside the 4 majors). Djokovic in terms of statistics has the upper hand.
Last meeting : Djokovic and Murray faced each other at the last year’s French Open semi-final, a clash that lasted 5 sets – an energy soaking battle amongst 2 of the fittest men players currently in the circuit. Djokovic came out winning in 5 sets 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1, the last set was an evidence of Djokovic’s astonishingly high fitness levels in front of which Murray fell short.
Leading up to the tournament : Pre the French Open, the players go through rigorous ATP tournaments to prepare for the major and Murray has had a great turn up to the tournament, winning 2 clay court tiles in Madrid Open and Rome Open. What makes Murray’s form special is the fact that he beat the clay court master in Rafael Nadal to win the Madrid Open and Novak Djokovic in the Rome Open. Psychologically, having beaten Djokovic just around 3 weeks back goes in Murray’s favor.
Djokovic has reached the French finals 3 times and has lost on all the occasions – it’s starting to get frustrating for the world no.1 as he’s aiming a career slam and the only slam missing from his tally is the French Open.
Andy Murray has only managed to win the Wimbledon and will be hoping to add to his grand slam list. This is his first appearance in a French Open final. This year’s French Open provides the perfect opportunity for him; being in the best form of his life on the clay court.
Our verdict : A hard fought 4-setter in which Djokovic wins.
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