The US Open final was the first in years to feature neither Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer. While it was fun to see new faces battle it out for the trophy, this is the French Open final the whole tennis world was hoping to see.
Djokovic and Nadal will meet for the 56th time when they take to Court Phillipe Chatrier on Sunday afternoon at 2pm. The Serb has a 29-26 advantage overall, but the Spaniard is 17-7 on clay. If Djokovic wins, it would be Grand Slam number 18, but just his second at Roland Garros. For the ‘King of Clay’ Nadal, it would be a record-extending 13th French Open title, fourth in a row and 20th Grand Slam title, drawing him level with Roger Federer’s current record.
Rafa has yet to drop a set so far this tournament. He’s brushed aside spirited challenges from Italian teenager Jannik Sinner and Argentinian Diego Schwartzman, both of whom managed to force him to a tiebreak but couldn’t get any further. Djoker has had a tougher time, needing four sets to see off Pablo Carreno Busta and dropping a 2-0 lead against Stefanos Tsitipas before closing it out in the fifth.
Nadal is currently favourite for the match, but here’s our tips if you’re looking for some extra value.
French Open final tips
With this year’s tournament being pushed back to October, the conditions have been colder and wetter than normal. The few spectators who have been in attendance have been wrapped in so many layers, they’ve almost looked like they were braving an Irish beach and not autumn in Paris.
Pre-tournament, Nadal spoke out about how the weather and the new brand of balls being used were affecting his game, but so far it hasn’t seemed like an issue. Philippe Chatrier is his court, and the Spaniard has nothing to prove and will be in his comfort zone. Meanwhile, after his disqualification in New York, all the pressure and scrutiny will be on Djokovic to deliver. He’s also spent longer on court, which could be a decisive factor.
Nadal’s longest match so far lasted just over three hours, with 31 total games played. He’s been wrapping things up in a hurry whenever possible. Djokovic is a higher calibre of opponent and will push him all the way, but Rafa will still try to get the match finished as quickly and efficiently as possible.
And a bet for 2021…
With Djokovic and Nadal both in their mid-30s, and Roger Federer turning 40 next year, men’s tennis is constantly on the lookout for potential new superstars. Tsistipas, Alex Zverev, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev have already made their mark, and soon we might be able to add the name Jannik Sinner to the list.
The Italian teenager turned 19 in August, so it may be a few years before we see him winning Grand Slams, but his impressive run of results this year have put him on the radar of the tennis world. In the past few weeks, he’s beaten Tsitsipas, Zverev and David Goffin and made it to his first Grand Slam quarter-final. He’s already ranked inside the Top 100 in the world, and a few big wins next week will surely see him break into the Top 50 and maybe even the Top 10.
Nadal v Djokovic tips
Future bet for 2021
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