Murray can expect a difficult French Open despite strong form

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Andy Murray’s win over Novak Djokovic in the final of the Italian Open has got many excited about his chances at the French Open.

The British number one won in straight sets against the Serb to top the tournament for the first time.

Similarly, the 29-year-old has never lifted the Coupe de Mousquetaires – indeed it is the only Grand Slam he hasn’t reached the final of – and will be hoping breaking the duck in Italy will signal good things to come in France.

However, he shouldn’t be so optimistic.

Firstly, only six Italian Open winners this century have gone on to success in Roland Garros in the same year, with a further three finishing as runners-up.

In contrast, seven champions of the Internazionali d’Italia have failed to make the French Open final in the same time span.

Therefore, this recent triumph is no indicator that Murray is set for more glory, while his record against Djokovic should also cool the hype.

This victory was only his tenth against the world number one, while he has been defeated on 23 occasions.

Crucially, he hasn’t secured back-to-back wins over the three-time Wimbledon winner since 2012 and is likely to face him if he is to get to the final.

The Belgrade-born star has reached at least the semi-final in the previous five editions of this competition and clearly flourishes in it, despite never winning the whole thing, and is priced at 8/11 to lift the trophy this year.

This is the only Grand Slam Djokovic has failed to conquer and his desire to do so in his twelfth attempt is sure to be stronger than ever.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have both completed career Grand Slams, with Federer completing it by winning in Roland Garros in 2009, and the Olympic bronze medallist would surely be keen to become only the eighth man to do so and firmly entrench his legacy.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Dan Ross

After a brief stint as a commentator, Dan took his passion for football into writing and went on to gain an NCTJ in sports journalism. A lifelong Walsall fan, he's followed the Saddlers through the highs, getting to Wembley for the first time ever last season, and the lows, namely relegation to League Two in 2006.