French Open men’s final: Extra Wawrinka rest key to Djokovic duel
ATP world number one Novak Djokovic can complete the career Grand Slam if he wins the French Open final, and Coral make the Serbian tennis star a firm odds-on 1/8 favourite to do just that at Roland Garros.
Having knocked out nine-time champion and the so-called ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal, before ultimately besting Andy Murray in five sets in the semis, punters are right to think Djokovic deserves his status.
The portents look even better when you consider French Open final foe Stan Wawrinka, a huge 5/1 outsider to scoop his second Grand Slam title, has only beaten him once on clay way back in 2006. Djokovic had to retire on that occasion during a first set tiebreak.
As Wawrinka enjoys the benefits of a full day of rest before playing this fixture, however, it is not a foregone conclusion and straightforward win for the reigning Australian Open champion.
Djokovic’s defeats of fellow top seeds Nadal and Murray is impressive, but so is the Swiss number two beating compatriot and all-time great Roger Federer either side of doing likewise to French home hopes Gilles Simon and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Stormy weather pushed the conclusion of Djokovic’s semi win over Murray back until just before the ladies’ singles final and, although he came through that, his collapse mid-match when two sets up is slight cause for concern.
It doesn’t justify Djokovic’s short price, even if he does lead his Grand Slam head-to-heads with Wawrinka 4-1, and punters should thus avoid the outright betting and to win in straight sets markets.
When these two have been previously paired at tennis’ premier events, the matches have more often than not gone the distance. Djokovic is tempting at 12/5 to come through in four sets, but awesome at 11/2 for victory in a decider.
Wawrinka is more than capable of pushing him to the limit. Both have started their previous big battles strongly at this year’s French Open, so punters must consider the possibility of the opening set going to a tiebreak at 4/1.
Coral betting tip: Djokovic is a worthy favourite, but back him to be taken all the way by Wawrinka and win 3-2 at 11/2.