It’s the 36-year-old Djokovic against a 24-year-old roadrunner Norwegian. Novak emerged relatively unscathed from the Alcaraz semi final due to the Spaniard cramping, which virtually sealed the match after the second set. Casper Ruud came through the Medvedev bottom half of the draw. This is the third Slam final for Ruud, it will be Novak’s 34th.
Why Novak will win
All the talk this clay season has been Alcaraz, Alcaraz. Well, the Serbian sure buried that yesterday, which should caffeinate his confidence. These Slam finals are what matter most and Djokovic has been in the historical ‘best ever’ conversation since he really started racking up the numbers ten years ago. He’s now chasing the all-time men’s record of 23 Slams.
With Federer (20) retired and Rafa (22) unlikely to ever reach this level again this match is too important for Novak to lose. If Novak is Novak he’ll win.
Why Ruud will win
Ruud is 0-4 against Novak, which doesn’t bode well. He hasn’t even won a set, which makes this even more daunting. The crazy thing is, all this losing could actually free him up. Two things need to happen for the man from Oslo to win in Paris. He has to play outside himself, be more aggressive than he has in the past, the roadrunner style won’t cut it against Novak and he has to hope that the weight of Grand Slam history weighs down the Serb. If these two things happen, then he’s a chance.
The semi final quality of Novak/Alacraz vs Ruud/Zverev was plain as day. The Novak semi was lobster bisque; the Ruud semi was baked beans on toast. The Norwegian had better up his culinary skills to make this competitive.
Watch the early rallies, if Novak is controlling the points and holding serve easily this could be over quick, if Novak is tentative and struggling on serve we could have a match on our hands.
I think the Norwegian can win a set, but it’s the only one he’ll win, Novak in 4 sets.