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Recent clashes make Djokovic a risk-worthy bet for French Open

| 06.06.2014

It’s become one of the greatest rivalries in modern sport between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Now the pair will draw battle lines once again as the Serb attempts to dethrone the undisputed King of Clay and win his first ever French Open title.

Incredibly, this marks the 42nd occasion that these two warriors will meet and the seventh-time in the final of a Grand Slam.

Meanwhile the intensity of their on-court rivalry can best be summed up by a head-to-head count that Rafa only just shades 22-19.

After weighing up this super-heavyweight tennis bout, Christian Crowther gives his three best bets for the 2014 Roland Garros showpiece.

Djokovic to beat Nadal @ 1/1

Given Rafa is chasing a record-extending ninth French Open title, it’s only sensible he be afforded favourite status as 4/5, but there is plenty of reason to take a gamble on his Serbian counterpart.

Since the Spaniard triumphed in the 2013 US Open final, the pair have met another four times on different surfaces and on every occasion the Serb has prevailed, dropping just one set.

Crucially, the last of those meetings was on the clay in Rome just weeks prior to the French Open, where Djokovic scored a huge psychological blow in the final; his second win in their last three on the red stuff.

Djokovic to lose the first set and win the match @ 5/1

When Djokovic won in Rome he had to do it the hard way from a set down against the King of the Clay.

In these epic Grand Slam tussles, wining the opening set doesn’t mean the path to victory is in anyway assured.

Rafa has claimed the opening set in five of the last six meetings on his favourite surface and has only dropped the first set once during the tournament up until this finale.

Exactly five sets in the match @ 9/4

Somewhat of a covering bet, although Djokovic winning 3-2 is a handsome 5/1-chance, these Grand Slam tussles have never once provided a straight sets win for either man.

Last year’s French Open final was a five-set classic to rival the epic Australian Open final in 2012 which went the distance.

With both guys playing at peak capacity, this contest going the distance is all the more likely.

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

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.