Novak Djokovic face Stefanos Tsitsipas this Sunday in the Roland-Garros final.
After his wonderful victory against Nadal, the Serbian is the big favorite of this meeting.
Be careful, however, the Greek is not just any player and the world number 1 will have to come down from his little cloud.
Obviously, when we have just dethroned the master of the places in the semi-finals at the end of one of the most beautiful matches in the history of the tournament, we advance to the last step with a certain presence.
Especially when you already have 18 Grand Slam titles behind you.
Novak Djokovic, who threw Rafael Nadal out of his own house on Friday night, is the natural favorite in the upcoming final against Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday.
All the markers point in this direction.
The Greek, if he is the man who has won the most matches this year (39, including 22 on earth), will discover at 22 years the other side of such a meeting.
Djoko knows him by heart.
It will be the 26th time he has stepped onto the court with the prospect of a major trophy, the 6th to Roland, which he won in 2016.
"Tsitsipas still has air holes"
And above all, above all, the still smoking memory of Philippe-Chatrier struck by lightning, less than 48 hours ago, is not about to evaporate. It is not known if Tsitsipas took a look at the half of the two monsters, but even if his against Zverev was not bad either, we imagine that he could not remain insensitive to the way the number World 1 has relentlessly put its paw on this masterpiece.
"For me, he is the big favorite, but not for his Grand Slam victories or his greater experience," said former player Sarah Pitkowski. He is because Tsitsipas still has air holes during his matches. We saw him in quarter, half, he is above, more aggressive, more flamboyant, more confident, and yet he is scared because he lacks a little consistency. And against Djokovic, it's crippling. You have to keep intensity from the first to the last point. "
The person concerned knows this well. After his passage in the final, when asked what he should do to beat Nadal or Djokovic here, he said something very boaty but damn fair: “Play better tennis, in general. To play tennis even better than any tennis I have played on clay. The truth is that simple and complicated. If Tsitsipas evolves just at his level, that will not be enough.
Finally, from our point of view, it will also depend on how the Serbian approaches this meeting.
We do not doubt for a moment his motivation, of course.
But he did not hide it Friday night, this success against Nadal is a real accomplishment for him.
He found in this victory, acquired against his greatest rival, on the court where he won so much, in a grandiose atmosphere where the applause was shared on an equal footing, something he had been looking for for a long time.
Top 3 out of 1,149
Djoko still ranked this meeting in the top 3 of his greatest career games. IN CAREER. A hell of a great place for a semi-final, when we know that he has 1,149 games since his debut and 83 titles. The Serbian remains a human being, and we are not inventing anything by saying that it is not always easy to get back into it immediately after this kind of climax. In a completely different context, the Blues of football had told after the fact that they had the impression of having won the Euro after their victory against Germany in the half, in 2016.
“I'm not quite as fresh as a roach, but I have a day and a half to recover and get back on my feet,” he reassured on Friday.
This is not the first time that I have played an epic Grand Slam semi-final and then have to come back to play the final in less than 48 hours.
I'm recovering pretty well, what we need now is to take things calmly until the final.
I know what to do.
A question of awards ... and recognition
Ok Novak, but you're talking to us more about physical than mental consideration here. However, it is the noggin that interests us this time. Pitkowski does not adhere to the theory of decompression. “He touched the top of Everest with that victory, so maybe early in the game, yes. And yet, I am sure that his staff will know how to play its role, already, she said. Above all, Djokovic has very, very hard leather. He has known a lot in his life, in his career, and he has always kept his line. "
The consultant for RMC Sport also sees an element that will prevent any slackening: the race for the Grand Slam titles.
If he wins on Sunday, he will come within a length of Nadal and Federer (19 against 20).
With Wimbledon, of which he is the two-time defending champion, and the US Open which come very quickly behind.
“He has been chasing the other two for a long time, in terms of the prize list and also the recognition.
We have no idea how hard it is.
Believe me, he is not going to let go now, ”asserts the former 29th player in the world.
Our Roland-Garros file
We agree, Tsitsiapas is in great shape but to see him win would be a hell of a blast.
Be careful though, the Chatrier is not that close this year.
We will leave each other on this little stat: the only two men to have beaten Nadal so far (Soderling in 2009 and Djokovic himself in 2015) had not won the tournament in the year of their feat.
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