Having brought Rafael Nadal’s reign as the King of Clay to a merciless end in their quarter-final clash, French Open favourite Novak Djokovic is tipped to hurdle one last obstacle en-route to the final, in the shape of Andy Murray.
Meanwhile, a tantalising last-four clash on the opposite side of the draw also awaits at Roland Garros, as crowd favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga plays the role of marginal underdog to Stanislas Wawrinka.
Novak Djokovic to beat Andy Murray 3-1 @ 9/4
This wager is not only based on the pair’s two most recent Slam soirees going the way of the Serb in four, although this edge over his opponent is the wider context.
Murray may have stepped up his clay game to a new level, but as the world number one demonstrated in blowing Nadal away, so has Djokovic, who is hunting a third French Open final in four years compared to a first ever for the Scot.
Since Murray’s 2013 Wimbledon triumph, Djokovic has responded by confounding his dear enemy at every turn, winning seven of seven competitive encounters.
Even the most optimistic Murray fans will have to concede that winning a set off the Serb will be an achievement on his least amenable surface.
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Given the even nature of previous tussles between these two, the 7/4 on underdog Tsonga has to appeal, even in spite of the crushing weight of expectation from the home crowd.
One thing which looks a near certainty is a marathon contest is in store for the pair, whose competitive head-to-head record is inseparable at 3-3.
Two French Open slog fests precede the latest, both going the full distance in successive years (2001,2012).
Following clay clashes in Monte Carlo and Madrid that also went the whole hog in 2013, it’s only one meeting – a four-set Davis Cup tie – which hasn’t seen a deciding set.
Exactly five sets at 11/4 is another must on all known evidence.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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