The final of the men’s singles at the French Open 2016 is set for Sunday between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray at around 14:00 UK time.
We managed to find a welcome ‘long shot’ winner in Saturday’s women’s singles final when the 4.35 chance of Garbiñe Muguruza beating Serena Williams in straight sets landed.
Now it’s the turn of the men to become the next name on the roll of honour at the French Open, with either Murray or Djokovic earning themselves a maiden title in Paris come Sunday afternoon or evening.
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray
The chances are it will be the evening by the time this one is settled given the nature of the two’s head-to-head matches in majors and the likelihood of some disruption due to rain.
Some rain is forecast on Sunday in Paris, but it doesn’t appear that there will be too much disruption according to the meteorologists and one of these two should be carrying La Coupe des Mousquetaires home with them come nightfall.
The layers say it will be the Serb, who is into his fourth French Open final following four set losses to Rafa Nadal (twice) and Stan Wawrinka, but he’s plenty short enough at 1.31 against a resurgent Murray.
There’s been a much better demeanour about Murray on clay lately and he capped his fine work on the red dirt in the last two seasons with a title win in Rome against Djokovic and perhaps his best showing on clay when he defeated Wawrinka in the semi finals on Friday.
I had expected that match to be tighter than it was, but it was a relatively quick four setter and with Djokovic having had a comfortable time of it against Dominic Thiem in his semi final both men should be ready physically for a tough battle on Sunday.
Matches between this pair have generally been long in majors and over 37.5 games looks very likely again here at 1.78, but those bettors not involved in outrights could well look to Murray to spring a surprise here.
Murray hasn’t beaten Djokovic in consecutive clashes since 2012 when he beat the Serb in the Olympics and the US Open and I’ve a feeling that he’ll at least push Djokovic very close again.
The Serb was pretty much spent in the Rome final that Murray won before coming here to Paris, but Murray won’t care and his confidence must be at its peak right now after this transformation on the red dirt.
Just over 13 months ago Murray had never even been to a main level final on clay and now he stands a game away from a French Open crown that even he must have never thought was likely.
As the current annoying TV advert goes, with Boris Becker boasting: “I won every title I ever dreamed of… Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open…” err, what about the French, Boris? I don’t think Murray ever dreamed of it either.
It could become a reality on Sunday though and with the Scot playing with no real pressure on his shoulders this could be an uncomfortable day for his opponent, who is feeling the weight of history on his shoulders.
Judging by his actions this fortnight on the rare occasions he has come under pressure Djokovic is a man desperate to land that elusive career slam and unlike his coach Becker he’d be inconsolable were he not to ever achieve it.
With Nadal and Roger Federer out with injury of this year’s tournament this may well be his best chance and he knows it, but surely it will be anything but easy versus an in-form Murray.
On a hard court you’d fancy him, but I’m not so sure on clay, and Murray +1.5 sets looks appealing at a price of 2.40.
The pair went to five sets last year and over 4.5 sets at 3.60 is another option, as is the over 184.5 total minutes, with last year’s match going for over 250 minutes and lots of gruelling rallies expected.
Murray is surely serving better this year than in that match and he’s certainly moving better and looks fitter after recovering from that back surgery and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t at least take two sets here.
Value bet: Back Murray +1.5 sets at 2.40