Matt Brown: Djokovic on the cusp of history

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Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms in victory after defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament. Photo / AP.
Serbia's Novak Djokovic raises his arms in victory after defeating Austria's Dominic Thiem during their semifinal match of the French Open tennis tournament. Photo / AP.

For all the talk about the next generation talent emerging on the ATP Tour, there is no sign that Novak Djokovic's Grand Slam domination will end any time soon.

The world number one is on the verge of a remarkable feat, victory over Andy Murray early tomorrow morning in the French Open final will see the Serb become only the 8th player to win all four Grand Slam titles.

Only Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Rafael Nadal and Fred Perry have achieved the feat.

He is playing in his 20th Grand Slam final and seventh against Murray, chasing a 12th title that will move him to within five of the all-time record held by Roger Federer.

By winning Roland Garros, Djokovic will also remain on course for a calendar year Grand Slam, of which only Laver has achieved, twice.

Djokovic was impressive in his semi-final against young Austrian Dominic Thiem and will finally be fresh after enduring a frustrating week of rain delays and playing just about every day.

Standing in his way is 29 year old Scot Andy Murray, the world number two who hasn't beaten the Serb in a Grand Slam since the 2013 Wimbledon final. But Murray beat Djokovic three weeks ago in the Rome Masters final for his first win over Djokovic on clay and that will give him belief.

His performance against defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semi-final here was the best he's ever played on clay. The key for Murray will be his serve against the game's best returner. It was on song against Wawrinka and he added an aggressive approach to his renowned defensive prowess to bamboozle the Swiss.

Murrray's forehand was firing bullets against Wawrinka and he will have to continue to hit big against Djokovic who he has often been accused of being too conservative against in the past.

The first set will be crucial, Murray has never beaten Djokovic after losing the opener.

The Serb leads their head to head meetings 23-10 but will go into the final with a little more tension, knowing once again he is on the cusp of something special. Murray doesn't have the same pressures. It's his first French Open final, a tournament no one, not even himself until recently really believed he could win.

That said after last year's stunning shock win for Stan Wawrinka, I sense Djokovic will finally do it. He has been the world's best player for some time now and by some distance. He has a similar game to Murray but usually does everything just a little better.

Prediction: Djokovic in four sets.

Matt Brown is covering the French Open thanks to Emirates Airline

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