The key factors to ensure Djokovic downs Murray at French Open
Andy Murray became the first British player in the Open era to win the Rome Masters last month when defeating Novak Djokovic in the final in straight sets.
He is now on the cusp of being the first Brit to do the same at the French Open, with the Serbian world number one again the player standing in his way in the Roland Garros final.
For Djokovic, this is the fourth time in five years he has reached this stage in Paris as he still seeks to complete his personal Grand Slam. There is the possibility that the pressure to fill the remaining vacancy in his trophy cabinet could be his undoing.
Murray is the 12/5 underdog here and critical to his chances will be repeating the things he did well in Rome.
He held all of his break points, while taking 50% of those on the Djokovic serve, he took more risks with his serve speed and made more winners than he did unforced errors, which isn’t something that could be said of his opponent.
Murray additionally did well attacking the net and mixing up play, which is vital against arguably the best baseline defender tennis has ever seen. If the pair trade in percentage shots and create long rallies, it will be advantage Djokovic.
However, things will be much different in Paris than they were in Rome.
Firstly, this time it is Djokovic that has benefited from less time on court in reaching the final, even if some lengthy matches in the earlier rounds helped Murray adjust to the speed of the Roland Garros red clay.
Also, this match is the best of five sets and not three. Expecting Murray to maintain his high standards over a longer period is a big ask.
Murray is only just winning over 50% of his points on second serve in the French Open so far and expect this average to drop against such a high-class returner. Djokovic is winning close to 10% more on his second serve.
Djokovic is 1/3 to finally win the French Open and has won 12 of the last 14 clashes with Murray since the Brit triumphed in their Wimbledon final in 2013.
In terms of set betting, Djokovic hasn’t beaten Murray in straight sets on clay since 2008. Therefore, backing the world number one to come through 3-1 looks the most likely outcome at 12/5.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.