It’s been a successful few days at the French Open, with winners on Friday and Saturday and we now approach the final day’s play in Paris and the men’s singles championship match.
Stan Wawrinka landed the -1.5 sets bet over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi finals on Friday with a 3-1 win over the Frenchman and he goes on to face Novak Djokovic at 14:00 UK time on Sunday.
Saturday’s wager in the ladies singles final came back from seemingly the dead to land a 3.40 success when Lucie Safarova fought back from a set and 4-1 down to Serena Williams to force a set two tie break and win the over 0.5 tie breaks bet.
Novak Djokovic vs Stanislas Wawrinka
This will be the 21st career meeting between these two major champions and one in which Djokovic can become the eighth man in history to achieve a career grand slam.
To have his name written into the history book alongside Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal is surely a massive motivation for the Serb and I don’t see Wawrinka denying him that honour on Sunday.
On quickish hard I’d have to give Stan the Man a puncher’s chance, but on slow clay on Chatrier with wide open spaces for defenders to make shot makers play one more ball I don’t really see it happening.
Of their 20 career meetings at main level only six have been on clay and only five of those were completed, with the most recent one taking place on the infamous blue clay of Madrid in 2012.
So, their last match on red clay was back in 2011, which holds little relevance to Sunday’s meeting, but if Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal couldn’t do it I don’t see how Wawrinka can with his game style.
He could win a set with his best tennis, but to ask him to keep that up on slow clay for four or five hours is too much and I don’t rate the underdog’s chances too greatly here.
Jim Courier was the last man to achieve the Australian Open and French Open double in the same season, way back in 1992, so it could and probably will be a big day for Djokovic.
Djokovic is around the same price that he usually is against Wawrinka today and that’s at the 1.15 mark or thereabouts and the Serb has a 36-2 record at that price on clay in his career.
One of the losses was on the aforementioned blue clay in Madrid to Janko Tipsarevic, while the other was to Tomas Berdych in Rome in 2013.
You feel that Wawrinka must get off to a decent start to be competitive here and it’s very tough to see the Swiss taking more than a single set, which makes the 1.32 about Djokovic -1.5 sets a ‘sure thing’ for Sunday.
I’m quite tempted by the 2.15 on either player to get a time violation too, as Djokovic and Rafa Nadal should have had many in their quarter final, but much depends on the leniency of the umpire.
Since the epic Gaston Gaudio vs Guillermo Coria final of 2004 the championship matches here have tended to be fairly dull, one-sided affairs, with that 2004 final being not only the last five setter, but the last time an underdog won.
Wawrinka has played eight completed matches on clay as an underdog of 6.0 or bigger and he’s lost seven and all eight have been straight sets affairs.
The one win was against Roger Federer back in 2009 in Monte-Carlo and as boring as it sounds I can’t see anything other than a three or four set win for Djokovic here.
Sure thing: Back Djokovic -1.5 sets to beat Wawrinka at 1.32