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What better way for the French Open to conclude on Sunday on the red clay in Paris as world No. 1 Novak Djokovic faces No. 2 Rafael Nadal in a match brimming with storylines. Nadal opened as the -350 favorite on Bovada’s tennis odds, with Djokovic at +250.
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Neither Nadal nor Djokovic had any trouble in their semifinal matches on Friday. Nadal crushed No. 6 David Ferrer 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 to reach his fifth straight Grand Slam final and improve to 51-1 all-time in Paris. Nadal hasn’t lost a set and has dropped only 35 games in six matches. Only Bjorn Borg, who currently shares the record of six French Open titles with Nadal, lost fewer games through the semifinals. Nadal has saved 18 of 19 break points against him in this tournament and has won 71 of 72 service games.
Djokovic, meanwhile, is looking to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once. Djokovic beat No. 3 Roger Federer 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 to get a little payback for a loss in the French Open semifinals to Federer last year when Djokovic was on a 41-match winning streak. This is the first French Open final for Djokovic (he had been 0-3 all-time in semifinals) as he looks to win the career Grand Slam.
Nadal and Djokovic have faced off 32 times, with Nadal holding an 18-14 lead. Djokovic had won seven straight vs. Nadal, including in the final of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year and this year’s first major, the Australian Open. But in two French Open clay-court warm-ups last month, Nadal beat Djokovic in straight sets in Monte Carlo and Rome. The world’s top two players have never played at the French Open.