The final four is set and this year Roland Garros will have a first time winner. In the more anticipated final of the two, the top seed and No.3 seed will compete after both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic lived up to their billing to make the semi finals. Check out the Djokovic vs Murray Head to Head.
Djokovic was in stunning form to defeat nine time champion Rafael Nadal in straight sets, rarely letting up after an early 4-0 lead was erased in the first set. From 4-4, Djokovic dropped just five more games to finally get over what had been the toughest hurdle of his career and move ever closer to that elusive first French Open title. With the 7-5 6-3 6-1 victory, Djokovic has now won 20 sets in a row dating back to the Rome quarter finals and will look to extend that to 23 when he takes on Murray.
It wasn’t as straight forward for Murray against David Ferrer, who won in four sets. After saving set points at *5-6 in the first set, Murray was rarely troubled as he raced into a two sets and a break lead. Ferrer would fight back to force a fourth set but any ideas of a comeback were quickly erased after Murray broke at the first time of asking. He would add a second break on his way to a 7-6 6-2 5-7 6-1 victory, his first on clay against Ferrer in five attempts.
For someone who has historically struggled on clay relative to his ranking, Murray’s 15 match winning streak (and accompanying two titles) has come as somewhat of a shock, especially the wins over Nishikori and Nadal en route to the Madrid title. Although Murray has made the semi finals of this tournament before, he is probably in the best clay form of his career but unfortunately runs into the clear best player in the world, on any surface including this one.
Djokovic is 40-2 on the year and has not lost since February, picking up titles in Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome along the way. Ten top-10 wins have been collected in that streak including twice over Murray, in addition to the Australian Open final victory. These three wins extended Djokovic’s winning streak over Murray to 7 and the head to head to 18-8 overall. In what was once a close record, Djokovic blew open from 2012 onwards.
The Australian Open and Miami meetings this year feel notable for the fact that Murray was well in both of these matches, especially the former in which he held a break lead in the third set. Both saw Djokovic take the final set 6-0 though, with Murray failing to keep up with the World No.1 the longer the match went on.
Interestingly, this will only be the third meeting on clay out of 27. The unstoppable Djokovic of 2011 needed a third set tiebreak to see off Murray in Rome and for all his dominance this year, it is still difficult to suggest Djokovic is playing at a higher level than what we saw in that year with 3 clear rivals being left in his wake.
After seeing off Nadal, everyone is waiting to crown Djokovic as the new king. The pressure is all on him to deliver and it’s hard to imagine a scenario that involves Murray winning without Djokovic completely disappearing and letting the occasion get to him. Murray has shown promise with greater aggression but over five sets it seems unlikely that Murray could perform consistently enough to live with Djokovic in the lengthier rallies. Djokovic to win in three sets to move one step closer to the title.