The dream matchup is now a reality, as world No.1 Rafael Nadal battles world No.2 Novak Djokovic in the 2014 French Open finals Sunday morning. As detailed in an S.I. June 7 preview, this men’s singles final will be televised nationally and live streaming on NBC Sports (national TV) and NBC Live Extra (online).
For one final time this year, Court Philippe Chatrier in Stade de Roland Garros will be the site for this world-class tennis showdown. This match has a TV scheduled start time of 9 a.m. ET (8 a.m. CT/7 a.m. MT/6 a.m. PT) following the conclusion of the women’s doubles final between Su-Wei Hsieh/Shuai Peng vs. Sara Errani/Roberta Vinci.
On Saturday’s women’s singles final, Maria Sharapova continued to make her case as the “Queen of Clay”, capturing her second French Open title and the sixth Grand Slam of her career. Will the “King of Clay” follow suit, or is “The Jokes” the wildcard to stop him from winning his ninth Roland Garros title and the fifth in succession?
As reported by RolandGarros.com on June 7, 2014, Rafael Nadal still has something to prove heading into showdown No. 42 against his old rival. And while “Rafa” leads the overall series, 22-19, people fail to realize that Djokovic comes in with a four-match win streak in their head-to-heads.
“It’s because he’s very, very strong,” said Rafa’s uncle, Toni Nadal when asked why Djokovic should come in as the betting favorite in this year’s final. “We would have preferred to have someone else in the final. I can’t even remember the last time Rafa beat him.”
To be exact, one has to look all the way back to the 2013 U.S. Open final to find the last time the 28-year-old from Manacor, Mallorca, defeated the 27-year-old from Belgrade, Serbia. Nevertheless, it comes as a bit of a surprise how 2014 French Open oddsmakers have decided to ignore these recent trends heading into this year’s finale.
According to tennis betting lines, Rafael Nadal is listed as a -150 favorite to defeat Novak Djokovic, whose odds of an upset are calculated at +130. In addition, the OVER/UNDER is set at a combined total of 42 games, and alternate spreads go as follows: Rafael Nadal -1½ [-122] vs. Novak Djokovic +1½ [+106].
For those who’ve never seen a final between Nadal and Djokovic, today’s clash is the perfect time to get acquainted. Not only are these the two best players in the world, but the fact that the Serb is beginning to close the gap between them makes this a must-see matchup.
Will the “King of Clay” defend his throne and capture his ninth French Open title, or will “The Joker” have the last laugh by completing a “Career Grand Slam” by winning his first Roland Garros title? Watch the 2014 French Open men’s singles tennis final between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on NBC (national TV) or NBC Live Extra’s Live Stream online feed beginning at 9 a.m. ET.