In a tennis season like no other, there is a comforting familiarity about a Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal final.
Like your favourite coffee cup or that old t shirt you refuse to throw away.
And one of the greatest rivalries in modern tennis history will reach its 56th chapter when Djokovic and Nadal face off in the French Open final.
Our Top Pick – Over 42.5 games – 5/4 at 888sport
Novak Djokovic has won 29 of his previous 55 encounters with Rafael Nadal.
But on clay it has been a very different story, with Nadal prevailing in 17 of their 24 matches.
They have also faced each other in the French Open final seven times, with Nadal winning six of them.
So far, so predictable for those that know Rafael Nadal and clay court tennis go together like a pint and a pack of pork scratchings.
So, can we make a case for the Serb to cause an upset?
Well let’s start with this…..HE’S NOVAK DJOKOVIC!
The world number one’s only loss in 2020 was his self-inflicted one at the US Open.
His five-set victory over Stefano Tstsipas in the semi-final was most notable for that fact that Djokovic had a match point to win in straight sets, lost the next two sets and then hammered his Greek opponent in the final set.
A lesser mortal would have drowned in the tidal wave of momentum that Tsitsipas must have been riding.
But not Djokovic, who casually surfed his way to victory, and that mental toughness will stand him in good stead ahead of his biggest challenge this year.
A deeper dive into the record books also instils some confidence for Djokovic fans.
Nadal may have won 17 of their 24 clay court encounters, but since 2011 it is only 8-7 to the Spaniard.
So do we think Djokovic will win?
Of course we don’t!
Because we know that two ways to go broke are to play poker against someone wearing a cowboy hat and to back against Rafael Nadal on clay.
But we do think it will be close, and after making a profit backing the number of games in Djokovic’s semi-final, we’re ready to go down that road once again.