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Preview: French Open final: Novak Djokovic vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas - prediction, head to head, route to final

Sports Mole previews the men's French Open final between Novak Djokovic and Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday afternoon.

Novak Djokovic will attempt to win his 19th Grand Slam title when he faces Stefanos Tsitsipas in Sunday's French Open final.

Having broken new ground at Roland Garros, Tsitsipas is competing in his first major final, building on last year's appearance in the last four.


Match preview

Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal at the French Open on June 11, 2021© Reuters

On the back of defeating Rafael Nadal in the latest chapter of their storied rivalry, Djokovic was quick to claim that it required one of his all-time best performances to overcome the greatest clay-court player of all time.

Djokovic fully deserved the praise and adulation which followed, but the legendary Serbian must now refocus if he wants to add a second Roland Garros crown to his collection.

While the 34-year-old is used to cruising through to finals on a weekly basis, he has dropped sets in his last three outings, also being tested by Italian pair Lorenzo Musetti and Matteo Berrettini.

Greece's Stefanos Tsitsipas celebrates winning his semi final match against Germany's Alexander Zverev at the French Open on June 11, 2021© Reuters

Much attention has been placed on the energy used by Djokovic in dispatching Nadal, but Tsitsipas has also not had things go his own way during his two weeks in the French capital.

The Greek star needed to come from behind to beat John Isner in the last 32, while Alexander Zverev threatened a two-set comeback on Friday before Tsitsipas rediscovered his ruthless touch.

Becoming the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam, a level of pressure has been placed on the shoulders of a 22-year-old who surely still has his best tennis days ahead of them.

Nevertheless, with Djokovic looking to cement a legacy and become regarded as the greatest player of all time, Tsitsipas has the freedom to swing from the hips and write his own piece of history.


Head To Head

The majority of players go through their career without ever toppling Djokovic, but Tsitsipas already has two wins to his name since their first meeting in 2018.

More impressively, Tsitsipas went 2-1 ahead in their head-to-head, backing up his previous success in Canada with another three-set triumph in Shanghai.

However, each of those wins came on hard courts, and Djokovic has put together a four-match streak in his favour since the back end of 2019.

Their last two meetings, on the clay in Paris and Rome, have each gone the distance, but Djokovic was able to deal with adversity on both occasions to outlast his opponent.


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We say: Djokovic to win in four sets

Having naturally taken pleasure in watching Djokovic go to great lengths against Nadal, Tsitsipas will feel that he could capitalise on any lingering fatigue in his opponent. However, it would take a brave person to back against Djokovic not winning this contest, and we expect the Serbian to prevail in four sets.


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Novak Djokovic reacts during his semi-final match against Rafael Nadal at the French Open on June 11, 2021
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