Britain’s Andy Murray has his best chance of winning the French Open this year, according to American great John McEnroe.
In Sunday’s final, Murray will face Novak Djokovic in a re-match of the Australian Open final in January, which Djokovic won in three sets.
The Scot came into the French Open with the highest winning percentage of anyone on what was formerly his weakest surface after beating Djokovic to win his second clay Masters title in Rome.
Dominic Thiem of Austria in action against Novak Djokovic of Serbia during their men’s single semi final match at the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 03 June 2016.
A double fault by the young Austrian opened the door for Djokovic to take the first set in the eighth game.
In the era of Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and the two of these guys, Djokovic has come out superior, though Murray would like to thwart that narrative on Sunday, buoyed by a stellar performance Friday against defending champion Stan Wawrinka, who he bested in four sets.
The 11-time Grand Slam champion had break points in each of Thiem’s service games and won another to wrap up the set as the underdog, who will move into the top 10 next week, was made to pay for a host of unforced errors. – Williams, speaking about the most lopsided Grand Slam loss of her career, 6-2, 6-2, against Muguruza in the 2014 French Open.
“The recent matches when they’ve played were very tight, but when Novak’s at his best he can beat anybody”, said Wawrinka.
“He was so solid in what he was doing and he knew how to be very aggressive from the very first shots to put pressure on me when I thought I had opportunities to seize, and voila”.
“I learned so much from that match”.
On another chilly, overcast day in the French capital, the Scot upset reigning champion Stan Wawrinka 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 to become the first British man to reach the Roland Garros final since Bunny Austin in 1937.
With Wawrinka’s trademark booming backhand slightly misfiring, Murray took control of the match, breaking twice to win the second set before the Swiss picked his pocket to take the third. Although as fit as a butcher’s dog, that extra effort could weigh on Murray if the final becomes another five-set marathon like their Roland Garros semifinal past year, won 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 by the equally fit Serb.
“I’m extremely proud, I never expected to reach this final”.
Murray said: “It was raining for quite a lot of the match (in Rome), so it was heavy and not as easy to penetrate the court”.
“If we knew back then that we were going to fight for the biggest trophies in the sport”, Djokovic said, “I think we would both sign the document”.
Victory on Sunday would also give him the “Novak Slam” as the Serb already holds the Wimbledon, US and Australian Open titles – he would become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four majors at the same time.
Djokovic will be competing in his sixth consecutive Grand Slam final and fourth in Paris over the past five editions.
Muguruza, whose schedule has been slightly kinder than Williams’s and whose form has looked peerless, as in her 6-2, 6-4 win over Sam Stosur on Friday, has played Williams four times, all in Grand Slams. He’s lost three Roland Garros finals, including two to nine-time victor Nadal and one to Switzerland’s Wawrinka a year ago.
“I played the best tennis of the tournament so far. To play the way that I did today after a tough start to the tournament, yeah, (I) was just really, really happy with that”.