French Open Males’s Ultimate Preview: A primary Slam for Tsitsipas or 19th for Djokovic?
Will Stefanos Tsitsipas grow to be the primary Greek Grand Slam champion, or will Novak Djokovic shut the hole to Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and safe the Double Profession Grand Slam?
The younger gun and the tour powerhouse will face one another for an eighth time of their careers, and a second consecutive 12 months at Roland Garros, having confronted one another in final 12 months’s semi-finals.
“I’m clearly simply blessed to have the chance to play in opposition to the perfect and check myself, one thing that I’ve at all times dreamed and wished to occur at some point,” Tsitsipas admitted forward of the championship match.
Djokovic said: “Tsitsipas doesn’t need to cease there [at the final]. He leads race rating this 12 months. Clay is his finest floor. It was a epic semi final 12 months. I’ll want energy.”
The matchup to this point
Regardless of Tsitsipas’ youth, the 2 males have achieved battle seven occasions already of their careers, with Djokovic main the head-to-head 5-2.
Three of these encounters got here on the clay, together with in final 12 months’s Roland Garros semi-finals and the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters earlier in 2021.
In all three clay matches Djokovic gained, however of their final two conferences Tsitsipas pushed the Serb all the best way in units.
The ultimate will probably be Djokovic’s sixth at Roland Garros and twenty ninth Grand Slam ultimate in complete, whereas Tsitsipas is in his first Grand Slam ultimate ever.
Djokovic has the possibility to grow to be the primary man since Rod Laver in 1969 to finish the Double Profession Grand Slam, profitable all 4 Majors a minimum of twice in his profession. He would even be the primary man to take action completely within the Open Period.
In the meantime, Tsitsipas could make nationwide historical past to grow to be the primary Greek Grand Slam winner ever in any class.
Journey to the ultimate
World No. 1 Djokovic has given up 4 units in his six matches to this point, all of them in his final three rounds.
The Serb dispatched Tennys Sandgren, Pablo Cuevas and Ricardas Berankis all in straight units – earlier than recovering from two units to like down in opposition to Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti to advance to the quarter-finals.
He then overcame no. 9 seed Matteo Berretini in a tense four-setter to succeed in his eleventh profession Roland Garros semi-final.
Lastly, Djokovic took half in simply probably the most epic match of the 12 months to this point, maybe even within the dialog for a top-5 match of all time, in his 58th profession assembly with 13-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal.
The 2 fought for 4 units and over 4 hours on-court, with Djokovic triumphant as the primary participant ever to beat Nadal at Roland Garros from a set down, and the one participant to beat the Spaniard twice on the Paris Slam.
No. 5 seed Tsitsipas has had a considerably smoother street to the title match, but it surely has not been with out its difficulties.
Tsitsipas defeated each Jeremy Chardy and Pedro Martinez in straight units, earlier than a tricky night time session duel with John Isner, recovering from dropping the primary set to take it in 4.
The Greek continued with relative ease by way of to the semi-finals, once more profitable in straight units over Pablo Carreno Busta and shock dirt-baller Daniil Medvedev.
Within the semi-final in opposition to sixth seed Alexander Zverev, Tsitsipas appeared very a lot in management to start, taking a two units to like lead in simply over an hour and a half.
However the German fought again to 2 units apiece, earlier than Tsitsipas ultimately closed out the match 6-3 within the fifth to succeed in his first Slam ultimate.