World number One Novak Djokovic kept alive his dream of winning a career slam as he took a combined four hours and nine minutes to end the amazing run of his rival since junior days Andy Murray and entered his third final at Roland Garros, Paris. The match resumed in brilliant sunshine today at 3-3 in the fourth set with Djokovic leading 2-1 in sets and both players held serve comfortably until Djokovic faultered at 5-5 making a few uncharacteristic errors.
As in the third set yesterday, Murray claimed the fourth set 7-5. With both players on a 15 match winning streak the stage was set for a marathon fifth set. Djokovic who had bageled Murray in the final set at both Melbourne and Miami this year had other ideas. The Serb broke the Scott”s serve in the fourth and sixth game and closed out the match 6-1. The eventual scoreline was 6-3,6-3,5-7,5-7,6-1.
Djokovic is now on a 28 match winning streak dating back to February 28, 2015, when he lost in the final of the Dubai Dutyfree Open ATP 500 event to Roger Federer. He faces the 9th ranked Stanislas Wawrinka in the final and has a 17-3 edge over his rival. The duo have played five sets at the Australian Open three times in a row, with Djokovic winning in 2013 & 2015, while Wawrinka won in 2014. Each time the winner went on to claim the title. Djokovic is 41-2 for the year (16-1 against top ten), while Wawrinka is 28-8. Djokovic has five titles in 2015, Australian Open, Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome. Wawrinka won in Chennai and Rotterdam.
Only seven players have attained the career slam of winning the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open atleast once. Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Agassi was the first player to complete the career slam on three different surfaces, clay, grass and hard courts. This is only the fourth meeting in tour level finals between the two.
Wawrinka won in Umag, Croatia in 2006, Djokovic won Vienna, Austria in 2007 and the Rome Masters in Italy in 2008. With five Australian Open, two Wimbledons and one U.S. Open title, a win for Djokovic would gain him entry into the club of career grand slam and would give him his 54th title. It would be his 16th grand slam final. The last male player to win the first two grand slams in the same year was the American Jim Courier in 1992. Wawrinka won the Australian Open title in 2014 ( d. Nadal) and it is only his second grand slam final. He has nine tour level titles.
Prediction :- Djokovic in 4 close sets.
– Rasesh Mehta [Rasesh Mehta is an analyst with the Tennis Galaxy.You can reach him at the email: email@example.com]