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Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic chasing their own piece of history in Sunday’s final

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic chasing their own piece of history in Sunday's final

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic chasing their own piece of history in Sunday’s final : Djokovic & Tsitsipas will battle it out for the French Open men’s singles title on Sunday.

Djokovic is striving to become the 1st male in the open era to have bagged all Grand Slams titles at least twice, while Tsitsipas is eyeing a maiden Grand Slam victory.

Djokovic has the psychological upper hand entering this match as he beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in a thrilling five-set affair at Roland Garros in last year’s semi-finals.

In this year’s semi-finals Novak Djokovic produced one of the best performances of his illustrious career by defeating the Rafa – the king of clay in an astonishing contest on Friday, prevailing 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 in a four hours & 11 minutes encounter on the famous Parisian Clay.

The challenger standing in his way in the finals is 5th-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas – appearing in his first Slam final.

Djokovic described his triumph over Rafael Nadal as a match he will “remember forever”, and, while he is the obvious favourite to capture his 19th Grand Slam crown on Sunday, he asserts complacency will not be a factor.

“It is not the first time that I play an epic semi-final in a Grand Slam & then I have to come back in less than 48 hours & play finals. My recover abilities are pretty good, I must say, throughout my career. I know what I need to do. Obviously, Tsitsipas, first time in the finals of a Grand Slam. For him it’s a great achievement, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to stop there. He’s in great form. I think he leads rankings, race rankings, this year. He’s had his best results overall. I think he matured as a player a lot. Clay is arguably his best surface. We played an epic five-setter last year in the semis here. I know it’s going to be another tough one. I’m hoping I can recharge my batteries as much as I can because I’m going to need some power & energy for that one.”

Novak Djokovic

The 34-year-old Serbian’s pursuit of history has invariably dictated the narrative, but Tsitsipas has carved his slice of history in Paris, & now he is just one win away from his first Slam title.

“All I can think of is my roots, & where I came from. I came from a small place outside Athens. My dream was to play here, to play on the big stage of the French Open one day. I never thought I would do it,”

Stefanos Tsitsipas

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Novak Djokovic Head-to-Head

Djokovic has won 5 of the pair’s 7 meetings, & the world No 1 triumphed in their solitary best-of-five-sets encounter at the French Open last year, resisting a terrific fight from the 22-year-old in an enthralling semi-final.

Stefanos Tsitsipas has lost all 3 of his clay-court meetings against the 18-time Grand Slam champion – including their most recent battle in May’s Italian Open.

However, there are positives for the 5th seeded Greek. As Djokovic conceded himself, Tsitsipas has developed as a player over the last 12 months. He has won more games on clay in 2021 than any other player – lifting titles in Monte Carlo & Lyon.

Experience could be vital in Sunday’s men’s singles finale. Tsitsipas is playing in his maiden Grand Slam final, while the Serb is set to feature in his 29th, having now made the final of each Grand Slam at least 6 times – another all-time record for Djokovic.

The men’s singles French Open finals promises to be a fascinating contest. The 22-year-old Greek brags a big first serve, a booming forehand and, despite his lofty frame, his movement permits him to control from the baseline.

Nevertheless, he is up against perhaps the best returner of serve the sport has ever seen. Djokovic’s display against Nadal defied logic – as he was brutally worn down by the persistent genius of his opponent.

We have come to anticipate the unexpected at this year’s French Open, but we can be assured that history will indeed be made on Sunday, in what guarantees to be a deserving finale.

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Nirmal Sawlani

Tennis News Pro

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