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Saturday, 4 June 2016

French Open Tennis Day 15 Picks 2016- Men's Final (June 5th)

It was a fantastic day for Garbine Muguruza and all of the people who have backed her in her career as she won the French Open with a comprehensive win over Serena Williams. There was no doubting that Muguruza was the better player on the day, although Serena produced her best tennis since earlier in the tournament after struggling in her last couple of matches.

Whether that was down to the rumoured injury or whether Serena Williams was just a little out of form might only be evident when we see how she is going into Wimbledon which begins at the end of the month.

For Muguruza the sky has to be the limit as she put together her game impressively after a tougher than expected First Round match. She is moving into the World Number 2 spot in the Rankings and Muguruza will have good memories of Wimbledon where she reached the Final in 2015 so another big Grand Slam run could be in her immediate future.

The long term suggests she could become the face of the WTA Tour when the likes of Serena Williams move on, but the big question has to be how Muguruza will handle the new pressures of being a Grand Slam Champion. It has affected Angelique Kerber from her win earlier in the season at the Australian Open but the lack of real time between the French Open and Wimbledon might actually play to her favour.

Now we are left with just one more match at the French Open as Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray get set to contest another Grand Slam Final. It means they will complete the set of playing Finals against one another at every Grand Slam event which is some achievement and I don't think too many would be ruling out seeing these two players compete for the Wimbledon title in around six weeks time either.

Novak Djokovic - 4.5 games v Andy Murray: This is the Final that most would have been expecting when the draw was made two weeks ago, although Andy Murray had to dig deep to come through the first two Rounds where he was a set away from being defeated twice. For Novak Djokovic it has been a much more serene progress through the draw with the only dropped set coming in ridiculous conditions against Roberto Bautista Agut.

This has long been a dream of Novak Djokovic's to win the French Open and he has just fallen short the last couple of years. It does mean he will likely feel some pressure in this match, more than he would normally when playing in Slam Finals at the other three events, and that is what Andy Murray has to try and take advantage of.

For Murray, merely becoming a player capable of winning titles on clay would have been a big achievement for him, but you can't ignore nerves that will come when playing in Slam Finals. He might have beaten a tired Djokovic in Rome last month, but Murray has to try and ignore the fact he has lost four in a row against the World Number 1 at Grand Slam level since beating him at Wimbledon.

Two of those Slam defeats have come in Finals including at the Australian Open earlier this season and I think the slightly warmer conditions we are seeing in Paris will play into the World Number 1's hands. That isn't to say we won't see the grinding rallies that both Djokovic and Murray have produced in the past against one another, but that won't bother Djokovic who continues to believe he has more in reserve than Murray when it comes down to the critical moments.

Last year it looked like Djokovic was going to come through Murray in the French Open Semi Final easily enough, but the third and fourth sets were won by the latter and he will look at those for confidence. The win in Rome had an asterisk next to it, but it again should boost the confidence of Murray as he bids to win the third of the four Grand Slams.

I just think this is Novak Djokovic's time to add the one trophy he wants most.

He comes in pretty fresh having dropped one set all tournament and his record in big matches against Andy Murray can't be ignored. As much as Murray has improved as a clay court player, Novak Djokovic is the Number 1 player on this surface and should have won this tournament last year.

Djokovic came in off back to back emotional wins over Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray before falling to a free-hitting Stan Wawrinka, but he should be much more level headed from an emotional standpoint this time. He knows he can beat Murray in these big matches and has the fitness to wear down his opponent and I can see that being the case here.

This is going to be the tenth Grand Slam meeting between Murray and Djokovic and the World Number 1 leads those 7-2. In all of those seven wins, Djokovic has covered this number of games as he wears Murray down in the later stages of their matches and I think we will see something similar here.

I will also have an interest in backing 'Over 38.5 Games' in this one.

The straight sets win Djokovic had over Murray at the Australian Open this year is a rare situation for when these players meet one another. Only three of their nine Grand Slam matches have ended in straight sets and all the ones that have gone beyond that point have surpassed this total.

With the way both are playing this week, I would be surprised if either player wins this one in straight sets and they do tend to play these really tight, competitive sets that get close to or into tie-breakers. Therefore backing the over total games looks another decent call from this Final.

MY PICKS: Novak Djokovic - 4.5 Games @ 1.80 Coral (2 Units)
Novak Djokovic-Andy Murray Over 38.5 Total Games @ 1.85 Betfair Sportsbook (2 Units)

French Open Update: 28-30, - 8.16 Units (115 Units Staked, - 7.10% Yield)

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