Novak Djokovic (-600) vs Andy Murray (+400, 3.5 sets o/u)
After handing nine-time French Open champ Rafael Nadal just his second career French Open loss in the quarters, the road doesn’t get much easier for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. The pre-tournament favorite – who is looking to complete the career Grand Slam – now has to face No. 3 Andy Murray in the semis today at Roland Garros.
Djokovic’s quarterfinal win over Nadal saw the Serbian play some of the best clay court tennis of his career; he dismantled Rafa in straight sets (7-5, 6-3, 6-1), breaking a six-match losing streak to Nadal at the French Open and justifying his -333 moneyline against the Spaniard.
“It’s a special thing, a special match,” Djokovic said in the press conference after beating Nadal. “You prepare for the match in the best possible way to get out there and execute your plan. Obviously, it’s easier said than done. When you are on the court with him, and on the court he has lost only once in his entire career, it’s not always easy to execute the plan you prepared before the match. But I managed to do that.”
The Scotsman Murray is also looking for his first career title at Roland Garros. Like Nole, Murray is having his best clay court results this season. He beat Nadal in Madrid in the build up to the French and, in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros, took care of clay court specialist and No. 7 seed David Ferrer (7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 5-7, 6-1). Today’s match will mark Murray’s first French Open semifinal.
“I’ve put myself in a position to win against the best players in the world on this surface,” said Murray after the win against Ferrer. “My build up has been good and going into the match having not lost on clay, plus having some big wins behind me, is great for confidence.”
Djokovic leads the all-time series against Murray 18-8 and has won the last seven in a row (all on hard court). The pair have only met twice on clay (Monaco in 2008 and Rome in 2011), but Djokovic won both of those, as well. Look for the world No. 1 to continue his march toward the career Grand Slam. That said, there isn’t a ton of value with Nole sitting a -600.
Pick: Djokovic in four sets.
(Photo credit: Yann Caradec (Flickr: Novak Djokovic) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)