What Djokovic is Playing For
Starting at 3pm on Sunday, Djokovic will play to win the Roland Garros title for the first time in his already illustrious career. The #1 ranked player in the world is contesting his third final at Porte D’Auteuil, but he will not meet Rafael Nadal the “King of Clay” this time, whom he already vanquished on Wednesday. Across the net fighting for the trophy will be Stan ‘The Man’ Wawrinka, who himself took down the other tennis giant in Roger Federer.
The ‘Djoker’ has a dominant head-to-head advantage on Wawrinka, having won 17 of their 20 matches. Does ‘Stanimal’ stand a chance? Let’s dig in a little deeper. These two have played 5 matches in the best-of-5 format, and all of them have gone the distance. Can you remember the match point to this epic battle ofMelbourne in 2013?
Crazy, right? The following year, Wawrinka got sweet revenge and handed Novak his only defeat at the Australian Open since 2010 in a 9–7 fifth set.
Novak and Stan have also battled to a 6–4 fifth set at the US Open in 2013, and in Davis Cup way back in 2006. So the outcome of the French Open final does not appear to be so straight-forward after all.
At stake is the career Grand Slam for Djokovic, which would put him solidly in the top 5 greatest players of the Open era. Last year, Wawrinka denied a second career Grand Slam to Nadal in the Australian Open final. Perhaps he will have the tenacity and power blows to deny Novak his first tomorrow.
One thing is likely, they’ll go the distance.