In The Roland Garros Sunday blockbuster, No.1 seed Novak Djokovic will face No.5 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Championship match of the French Open 2021.
34-year-old Serbian entered his 29th Grand Slam final in Roland Garros after thrashing defending champion Rafael Nadal, No.9 seed Matteo Berrettini, Italian Next Gen Lorenzo Musetti, Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas.
On the other hand, 22-year-old Greek made his maiden major final debut on Parisian clay following wins over No.6 seed Alexander Zverev, No.2 seed Daniil Medvedev, No.12 seed Pablo Carreno Busta, American John Isner, and Spaniard Pedro Martínez.
“Clay Arguably Is His Best Surface”: Novak Djokovic on Facing Tsitsipas
Speaking ahead of the championship match, Novak Djokovic said, “I know what I need to do. Obviously Tsitsipas, (it is his) first time in the final of a Grand Slam.”
Tsitsipas has had a wonderful season on clay this year. First, he claimed his first-ever ATP 1000 Masters title at the Monte Carlo Masters. Later on, Greek reached the second consecutive final at the Barcelona Open. Afterwards, before arriving in Paris, he clinched this season’s second clay-court title at the Lyon Open.
Incredibly, Stefanos has managed to reach his first major final at the French Open and a win-loss record of 22-3 in the clay-court swing.
Djokovic further added, “For him, it’s a great achievement, but I’m sure he doesn’t want to stop there. He’s in great form. I think he will lead this year. He’s had his best results overall. I think he matured as a player a lot. Clay arguably is his best surface.”
At the 2020 French Open, Djokovic faced Tsitsipas in the semifinal. Therein, Serb ousted Greek in the mouth-watering five-setters(6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6, 6-1) clash under the roof of Philippe Chatrier.
“We played an epic five-setter last year in the semis here. So I know it’s going to be another tough one. I’m hoping I can recharge my batteries as much as I can because I’m going to need some power and energy for that one,” the 18-time Grand Slam champion confessed.
Djokovic and Tsitsipas have faced each other seven times in the ATP Tour so far. Serbian leads Greek 5-2 in their head-to-head series, especially 3-0 on clay. In the latest meeting, Novak bested Stefanos in the three sets (4-6, 7-5, 7-5) at the 2021 Italian Open quarterfinal.