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Sports

Can mercurial Wawrinka face up to serial winner Djokovic at Roland Garros men's final?

media Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka

This year's Roland Garros men's final will not be the first time that Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic have met on the court. The record of victories in Djokovic's side. But the outcome of this year's French Open is far from being a foregone conclusion.

Stan Wawrinka and Novak Djokovic have met 20 times. The Serb is the lord of their encounters, having won 17 of them.

Click here for our coverage of Roland Garros 2015

But Wawrinka can at least summon up the memory of his victory over Djokovic in the quarter-final of the 2014 Australian Open. It went to five sets and the Swiss won the decider 9-7. He went on to take the title, beating Rafael Nadal in the final. 

Wawrinka can only gaze at one grand slam title. Djokovic has eight of them - five at the Australian Open, two at Wimbledon and one at the US Open. If he wins the Roland Garros crown, he’ll become the eighth man to have won championships at all the grand slam venues. Nadal and Roger Federer are already in the club. 

Djokovic has only dropped two sets on his way to the final – they were against the British third seed Andy Murray in the semi-final. He has already claimed the Australian Open this season as well as trophies from four Masters events – considered the most prestigious tournaments after the grand slams. He is the undisputed world number one.

“All of the top players are very strong mentally,” said Murray after his semi-final defeat. “Novak regroups well during matches. He didn't at the beginning of his career and now it's something that he does extremely well, physically and mentally.” 

Wawrinka, by his own admission, is mercurial.

When he’s hot, he can blow anyone off the court. But when he’s not; it’s not pretty.

“The final could be interesting,” suggested Wawinka. “Maybe he's going to play his best tennis and beat me in straight sets. But I know we have been having some big fights on the hard courts. I know that he's not always happy to play me when I can play my game. When I can play my aggressive game he's not feeling his best normally. So I will have to focus on myself and try to bring my A game.”

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