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Sports Then and Now

Novak Djokovic Looks to Press His Advantage at the French Open

Posted on May 20, 2011 by Pete South

Novak Djokovic is asserting his dominance on the tennis world.

There is nothing ambiguous about Novak Djokovic’s current form. 37 matches won in 2011, bringing seven tour titles. Four straight wins over Rafael Nadal and three versus Roger Federer. The sixth longest winning streak in the Open Era. These achievements show the Serb to be in the form of his, or indeed anyone else’s life.

It is hard to imagine anyone playing better than Djokovic currently is, which in the era of Nadal and Federer is quite an achievement. The drawback with such supreme current form is that it brings extra pressure, something Djokovic is aware of in claiming Nadal is still the firm favourite for Roland Garros.

This is reflected in the French Open 2011 betting, but punters are starting to take more notice of his recent dominance over the Spaniard than the five-time champion’s pedigree in Paris. Beating Nadal at Miami and Indian Wells is one thing, but straight sets wins in the finals of Madrid and Rome are another.

Djokovic’s performance at last year’s French Open contained all the weaknesses that used to characterise his game. He dropped sets in his first, third and fourth round matches against unheralded opposition before letting a two-set lead against Jurgen Melzer slip away in the last eight amid a backdrop of fatigue unforced errors and faltering serve. Despite this, he is still likely to attract plenty of tennis bets this time around.

He is now a different player, the mental frailty that affected him in tight matches replaced by total self-belief, as shown in his tough Rome semi final against Andy Murray. His improvement over the last six months has been rapid and a maiden Roland Garros title is certainly within reach.

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