It would be easier and quicker for me to pen my tennis tournament write-ups in advance at the moment, the gist is always the same – Novak Djokovic will be crowned champion, this Sunday he has done so in Monte Carlo.
The world no.1 also seems to break a new record every week too. He is also now the first man to win the first three main Masters events of the year after wins in Indian Wells and Miami too, this time it was Tomas Berdych who attempted to stop the Serb, but to no avail.
Djokovic’s 7-5 4-6 6-3 win was yet another show of class, stamina and mental strength over an opponent who had the skill and quality to force a match; Roger Federer and Andy Murray – the losing finalist in Indian Wells and Miami – will vouch for Berdych that winning a set against the Serb is less than half a job done.
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The eight-time Grand Slam champion has developed a canny knack of responding to danger with a sheer wall of irrepressible tennis, it isn’t always pretty – like some of his rivals – but it’s oh so effective.
As the weeks continue to be crossed-off the calendar, the ability to look beyond a Djokovic maiden win at the French Open becomes ever more difficult. Logic and history suggest that the 27-year-old cannot continue to keep this form up, but we’re nearly within a month of the action kicking-off in Paris.
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Perhaps the most poignant moment this week was not seeing Djokovic lift another piece of silverware, but was actually seeing the ‘King of Clay’, Rafael Nadal, as the underdog to his great rival for the first time in the build-up to their semi-final and looking so on-court.
They haven’t met since the last French Open final, and the duo have enjoyed some epic battles throughout their careers, but their encounter here was a one-sided affair and it will worry the 14-time Grand Slam champion’s fans.
The Spaniard, nine-time winner of the French Open and the reason why Djokovic has been unable to complete a Career Slam, is on his way back to form following nearly a year of injury-hell, but can he bridge the gaping chasm between the men in one month? – Only a King could do it, so let’s see.
The former world no.1 could look towards the other players to do his dirty-work for him, but any player with a reputation otherwise who could be a potential banana skin is being stamped-on rather than slipped-on. It’s all very ominous.