Heading into today’s resumption of the Men’s Semi-Final between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, it looked as though nothing more than a formality for the No. 1 seed to close things out in a timely manner and start preparations for tomorrow’s 2015 French Open Final against Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka.
Clearly someone forgot to let the No. 3 seed in on the script, as Murray managed to take full advantage of the lifeline he was handed on Friday evening. For the second consecutive set, the two-time Grand Slam winner found a way to break his opponent’s serve at 5-5 and on both occasions showed the necessary killer instinct to get the job done. While not a complete surprise, the fact it occurred with Djokovic playing at such a high-level is what was so shocking.
After being severely outplayed over the opening two and a half sets, no one could have expected for this match to playout into anything other than a straight sets victory for the talented Serbian. Yet here we were headed to a fifth set but unfortunately for Murray, that is where the comeback would come to a screeching halt.
Instead of being treated to another classic head-to-head battle between in a winner take all scenario, we watched Djokovic take his game to another level. While Murray did open the door a crack by essentially breaking his own serve at 0-1 with just a dreadful service game, the World No. 1 proceeded to kick that door down en route to an eighth consecutive win over his long-time rival.
The “Superhuman Novak” showed up for the fifth and despite Murray still playing at a relatively high-level, the twenty-eight year old was too much to handle in advancing to his second consecutive Roland Garros final with a 6-3, 6-3, 5-7, 5-7, 6-1 victory.
Today’s result coupled with Wawrinka’s win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Friday’s other Men’s Semi-Final, has set the stage for the duo to renew acquaintances and hopefully further build upon their recent history of five-set marathons at the majors. While it may not be the matchup most fans would have predicted or even wanted to see, a Novak Djokovic - Stan Wawrinka showdown could end up being be a match we remember for some time.
One thing we can be sure of, regardless of who ultimately comes out on top in Sunday’s finale, one of these men will be taking home the first Coupe des Mousquetaires of their careers.