The world n ° 1 meets the young Greek, this Sunday, in the Roland-Garros final. A clash of generations and styles.
The game. The reverse of Novak Djokovic is its barometer. It offers him, in all circumstances, a stability which allows him to set his own pace, to resist or to attack. Its only fragility comes from a crumbly flying game. For the rest, its arsenal, like its field coverage, is staggering.
Forehand from Stefanos Tsitsipas is its launching pad. It allows him to project himself with ambition forward. “Stefanos is the most aggressive player I have seen on earth since the great John McEnroe of 1984», Summarized in The team Mats Wilander. Simply.
The statute. Novak Djokovic is the world n ° 1. His record lists 83 titles (including 20 in Grand Slam and 36 in Masters 1000). The Serbian, titled in 2016 at Roland Garros, played four unfortunate finals in Paris (20212, 2014, 2015 and 2020). The last had been a nightmare (when the closed roof seemed likely to favor his designs against Nadal).
Stefanos Tsitsipas will experience its first major final. After two semi-finals lost at the Australian Open in 2019 and at Roland Garros last year, eight months ago in Paris, against… Novak Djokovic.
Roland Garros. Year after year, Novak Djokovic has established itself as a safe bet on clay (80% of wins-16 titles; 84.1% on turf-6 titles and 84.3% on hard-61 titles). At Roland Garros (four quarter-finals, five semi-finals, four finals, one title), as elsewhere, he shines. And if he has often found Rafael Nadal on his way, he is the player who has beaten the Spaniard the most on his land of legend (in 2015 in the quarter-finals, then in the semi-finals this year), he who does not ‘has in 16 years known only 3 defeats in 108 matches. Djokovic has erased all obstacles this year: the American Tennys Sandgren (6-2, 6-4, 6-2), the Uruguayan Pablo Cuevas (6-3, 6-2, 6-4), the Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis (6-1, 6-4, 6-1), Italians Lorenzo Musetti (6-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 4-0, ab.) And Matteo Berrettini (6 -3, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5), before the masterful match against Rafael Nadal (3-6, 6-3, 7-6, 6-2).
Stefanos Tsitsipas a, round after round, dominated the French Jérémy Chardy (7-6, 6-3, 6-1), the Spaniard Pedro Martinez (6-3, 6-4, 6-3), the American John Isner ( 5-7, 6-3, 7-6, 6-1), Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (6-3, 6-2, 7-5), Russian Daniil Medvedev (6-3, 7-6, 7-5), before the duel of the new generation mastered against Alexander Zverev (6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 4-6, 6-3). He has, in a painting stingy with surprises, breathed fresh air. He established himself as the Victor Pecci of the 1979 tournament when the Paraguayan, diamond hanging from his ear, had melted Roland-Garros before being overpowered by Björn Borg. Stefanos Tsitsipas retained from Roland-Garros the bitter memory of a bitter defeat (8-6 to 5e set) in the round of 16 against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka in the round of 16.
For history. Novak Djokovic can become the first player of the Open era to win each major tournament twice (9 times winner of the Australian Open, 1 time Roland Garros, 5 times Wimbledon and 3 times the US Open). With 19 major titles, he would approach the legendary tandem Federer-Nadal (20 each). And he could consider achieving the calendar Grand Slam (after winning the Australian Open in February). Novak Djokovic has made the pursuit of records an obsession. He does not want to pass up the opportunity.
Stefanos Tsitsipas can register as the first Greek winner in Grand Slam. At 22, the future looks kind to him. And the present can smile on him. The pupil of Patrick Mouratoglou will however have to be wary of his inexperience of a first grand final and the nervousness that could tie him up.
Face to face. Yes Stefanos Tsitsipas won the first match between them, in Toronto (at 3e round) in 2018, Novak Djokovic leads the duel 5 wins to 2 and notably has 3 matches played on clay (including the 2020 semi-final at Roland-Garros 6-3, 6-2, 5-7, 4-6 , 6-1). The Greek, after having passed through at the start of the match, had pushed the Serbian to 5e set, before giving in physically. The hour of reunion has come …