Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are set to face off in French Open finals

After a string of upsets at this year’s French Open, the men’s final, which pits the Nos. 1 and 2 seeds against each other, is a welcome reprieve. Rafael Nadal, who ranks first in the world, will attempt to go for his record ninth French Open victory. But he will face some stiff competition in Novak Djokovic, the second seed, who is hoping to break his losing streak against the Spanish champ. The Serbian has lost in all five meetings he’s had with Nadal at Roland Garros.

“I’m going to try to be aggressive because that is the only way I can win against him,” Djokovic said (via the Associated Press). “I know that, of course, this is the court he’s most dominant on. He has only lost one time in his career. This is where he plays his best.”

Despite Nadal’s expertise on clay, however, he is beatable. Djkovic triumphed over Nadal on the clay-court final in Rome last month. Nadal knows this. He told the AP:

”[It's] nothing new for him to be in the final. He has the motivation to win Roland Garros for the first time for sure. But at the same time, he has the pressure to win for the first time. I have the pressure that I want to win and the motivation that I want to win the ninth.”

More is on the line than the French Open title, however. Whoever wins on Sunday will be the first-ranked men’s tennis player in the world on Monday.

Marissa Payne writes for The Early Lead, a fast-breaking sports blog, where she focuses on what she calls the “cultural anthropological” side of sports, aka “mostly the fun stuff.” She is also an avid WWE fan.
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Marissa Payne · June 6

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