Current world number one Novak Djokovic will be looking to pick up his second grand slam title of the year, as the 115th edition of Roland Garros begins this Sunday.
He may already be the unparalleled world number one, he may be an eleven time Grand Slam champion and he may be the current ATP player of the year; but one accolade Novak Djokovic is yet to collect is being the number one player at the French Open.
Reaching the final on three separate occasions, the clay courts of Roland Garros has thwarted many tennis legends before Djokovic. Pete Sampras, Boris Becker and John McEnroe are three of the names who were never able to claim the title in France. But could 2016 be the year the Serb breaks his French duck?
In the past few seasons Novak Djokovic has been an unstoppable force in tennis. Since 2011 the Serb has reached 16 of a potential 21 Grand Slam finals. Sweeping players aside without breaking a sweat, Djokovic is rightfully the current king of tennis. Being the bookies favorite to win the tournament at 11/10 it seems a lot of people are backing Djokovic to take the French crown home.
Yet it’s not likely to be an easy road for the world number one.
Although he’s currently tennis’s top dog, he’s also the man to beat. Leading up to the French Open players such as Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal have begun to hit top form and will be raring to bring the Serb down.
And rightly so, although Djokovic boasts a dominant record, in recent tournaments he has begun to show some weaknesses. In the Monte Carlo Masters in April, Djokovic was shocked after the world 55 seed Jiri Vesely eliminated him in a 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 defeat. Following the match Djokovic was quick to praise his opponent for his “big serve” and “good tactics”.
Recovering from the defeat, Djokovic found time to regroup and then win in Madrid beating rival Andy Murray in the final. This was before the pair met again in the Italian Open final, with the Brit getting the better of the Serb winning in straight sets.
These two losses have been a wake-up call for Novak Djokovic acting as a reminder he may be on top of the world, but he’s not untouchable yet. To win the French Open he’s going to have to be performing at his best as opponents will be raring to get the better of him. A favorable draw could see Djokovic cruise to the final and maybe he’ll finally be able to add the French Open to his Grand Slam collection.
(Images sourced from Wikipedia and Youtube.)