‘Joker’ Laughing Ahead Of French Open

Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Rafa and the Joker are fierce French Open rivals. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Fresh from a win over the ‘King Of Clay’, Rafael Nadal , at the Rome Masters, Novak Djokovic is ready to break his duck at Roland Garros and claim the only slam that’s eluded him, the French Open.

With six-time Grand Slam winner, Boris Becker, now in ‘the Joker’s camp, the 26-year-old has a much better game on clay, as he showed in Rome. Djokovic edged past Nadal (an eight-time winner of the tournament) 4-6,6-3,6-3. The super-Serb took the final to Rafa, dismantling the Spaniard’s powerful forehand in the second and third sets.

It showed that ‘Boom Boom’ Becker has been able to transform Djokovic’s game on clay – encouraging him to take big shots on the rise and even come forward at the right times. They’ve worked out Joker can’t beat the big hitters from back court, so why not added some variety to his game – volleys and drop shots which surprise players who like to camp behind the baseline and overpower opponents.

On the downside, Djokovic had his chance at the French Open twelve months ago to prevent Nadal from winning his eighth crown at Roland Garros. In the semis, he was up a break in the fifth set, before losing it 9-7. The see-sawing match lasted well over 4 hours. While it was a clay classic, Djokovic has to cast aside any mental scars from the agonizing defeat.

While the Joker and Rafa dominate the market, Stanislas Wawrinka is next best, with 17-time Grand Slam winner Rodger Federer on the fourth line of betting.

In the Womens, Serena Williams is a short-priced favourite to defend her crown, with Maria Sharapova and Li Na next best.


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