We have Djokovic v Murray to determine the 2016 French Open champion. I suppose no surprises here. You might have seen me gesturing for a little surprise (Gasquet or Wawrinka), but that’s apparently too much to ask (especially from Gasquet).
We saw the Wawrinka v Murray match, the center-piece of the Semi-Finals. Interesting that they cast the world #1 in the SF side-show on Lenglen. Not sure if it’s lack of respect for Novak, or what. Most of us agree that the Murray/Wawrinka match had more potential fireworks, more appeal. I didn’t see any specific evidence of crowd content at the Djokovic match, but the likes of Guillermo Vilas and Leonardo DiCaprio, among others, were certainly in attendance at Murinka. Perhaps the organizers do their marketing analysis and simply determined this to be the bigger match.
Neither match was much to write about. Hopefully the final has more intrigue, more fireworks.
Not sure Novak broke a sweat.
Andy really didn’t have much trouble with Wawrinka, either. The critical take-away here is Murray’s over-all level was very high, but his defense was simply exceptional. Most of us on several points were moved to cheer the Swiss beast following a huge, deep ground-stroke, only to have Murray get it back and make Stan play another shot. This became pressure on Stan to do even more, which was too much to ask.
Murray was just too good today. Furthermore, Stan could not penetrate Murray’s serve at all, even that second serve. Murray cruised and Stan had to work to hold, losing his serve early in three of the four sets, which became the difference in the match.
Did Murray peak too early? Hopefully not.
I said in my last post that something other than a Djokovic/Murray final would be preferred. Given today’s results, of course I am wrong; these are the two best in the world and Stanimal is somewhere else, probably still wearing those funky pink shorts (2015).
We have our match-up, #1 v #2 at Roland-Garros, both hopefully playing their best, resuming the clay narrative they began in Madrid, continued in Rome, to conclude in Paris.
Initial thoughts have this story staying to form: Djokovic early in Madrid, Andy responding in Rome, but Djokovic finally hoisting La Coupe des Mousquetaires in Paris. Tough to see Murray consolidating his advantage from the Foro Italico. This is tennis, which goes back and forth. Given the advantage Djokovic has in overall H2H, in overall ATP dominance, his opportunity to seize so much history and legacy, this is the Serb’s championship to lose.
But tough not to notice Murray’s confidence on the clay, made-up of his new found composure and strong execution on the clay court. There is a certain determination in his tennis; he has a chance at a third major (3 of the 4). Will Novak concede to the Scot as he’s done in the past?
Get ready for some big hitting defensive tennis.