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Djokovic's decade of disappointment at the French Open

Bangalore , May 22, 2016
From Novak Djokovic’s quest for elusive Roland Garros glory to Serena Williams’ return to form, the 2016 French Open is chock full of drama that will keep tennis fans salivating.
Here are some storylines to watch as the game’s best converge on Roland Garros starting today Sunday, May22,2016
Will Novak Djokovic finally get a French Open win?
Simply put, Djokovic needs a French Open title to be considered one of the game’s all-time greats. He’s had plenty of success on clay, but taking home the championship at Roland Garros has consistently escaped him. The world No. 1 has come up empty in 12 previous trips, finishing as runner-up in three of the last four years. He finally looked to have vanquished his curse last year after besting Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals, but then fell to Stan Wawrinka in a stunning upset in the final.

Djokovic has since played stronger than ever, winning the next three Grand Slams and opening 2016 with an ATP-best five titles. But, his momentum was recently halted with a loss to Andy Murray in the Italian Open final.
A win would make Djokovic just the eighth man to win all four Grand Slam tournaments.
Can Djokovic finally complete the career Grand Slam?
The world No 1 has enjoyed a stunning year so far - losing just three matches and winning five titles - so he comes in as the firm favourite. Recent losses in Monte Carlo and Rome though have shown chinks in Djokovic’s armour and given the rest of the field a glimmer of hope.
Is it Andy Murray’s time?
Speaking of Murray, the Scotsman is gunning for his first taste of Roland Garros glory. Like his Serbian rival, Murray has yet to take home a French Open title. He dropped his coach Amelie Mauresmo earlier this month and fell to No. 3 in the world after losing to Djokovic in the Madrid Open final, but Murray has plenty of reason for confidence. His decisive victory in Italy and first over Djokovic on clay should give him a boost before Roland Garros. He could be Djokovic’s biggest roadblock to a French Open title.
Once so uncomfortable on clay, Murray has made huge strides over the last year, winning Masters titles in Madrid and Rome, and is a genuine contender to win this year's French Open. Last week's 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Djokovic in the Italian Open final served notice of how well he is moving on the red dirt, and he pushed the Serb all the way in last year's five-set semi-final defeat at Roland Garros.

How will we cope without Federer?
Roger Federer announced on Thursday that he is withdrawing from the French Open through injury, and so will miss his first grand slam in 17 years. It's an astonishing run that has taken in 65 straight slams, and not since the US Open in 1999 has there been a main draw at a major without Federer.
The news did not come as a surprise - after missing two months following knee surgery in February, Federer has struggled with illness and a back problem - but will still offer a glimpse into the future world of tennis without its biggest star. For Federer the big question now iswhether he can recover and add to his haul of 17 slams. 

What about Rafael Nadal?
Yes, Nadal has struggled, having suffered through his worst season in a decade, but it would be completely naïve to count out the “King of Clay.” Nadal has nine titles and a 70-2 record at the French Open. He’s had a decent 2016, winning two titles on clay and playing Djokovic well in Rome. And, Roger Federer’s injury means Nadal’s path just got easier. He’ll slide into the No. 4 slot, meaning that he won’t face Djokovic until the semifinals. If Nadal emerges victorious, he would become the only man to ever win the same Grand Slam tournament 10 times.
After a relatively poor 2015 Rafa Nadal looks to have rediscovered his confidence, and was close to his swashbuckling best when winning the Monte Carlo Masters last month. A nine-time winner at Roland Garros, Nadal has to be considered one of the favourites for this year’s tournament, but nagging doubts remain.Nadal has not won a slam since the French Open two years ago, and the lack of recent experience of going deep into the second weeks of majors could count against him.
Was last year a one-off for Wawrinka?
The way Stan Wawrinka is playing, it's hard to imagine he will mount a particularly robust defence of his title. In the three clay-court Masters events preceding the French, Stan the Man won a paltry total of three matches, with the lack of game time even prompting the Swiss to play an additional tournament in Geneva this week.
More variable than any of the other top players, Wawrinka can be utterly devastating on his day - just ask Djokovic - but also infuriatingly lacklustre and error-prone. Expect a similar title defence to his attempt at the Australian Open in 2015 when Wawrinka made it to the last four. 

My Predictions:
1. Djokovic to win the French Open at last
2. Andy Murray will have the defeat in the final
3.Rafael Nadal: Quarter-final exit
4.Wawrinka: Semi-final defeat

Djokovic's decade of disappointment at the French Open

2005: Maiden voyage
An 18-year-old Djokovic gets past Robby Ginepri in round one, but is forced to retire through injury against 2004 finalist Guillermo Coria in the second round, with the match tied at one-set all.
2006: A sign of things to come
A rapidly improving Djokovic reaches his first grand slam quarter-final, picking up wins over Fernando Gonzalez, Tommy Haas and Gael Monfils en route. In the last eight though Djokovic runs into the reigning champion Rafael Nadal and retires with a back injury when trailing by two sets to love.
2007:Getting closer
Novak reaches his first slam semi-final, but again that man Nadal is standing in his way. The Spaniard, en route to his third straight French Open, dishes out a straight-sets defeat to Djokovic at the last-four stage.
2008: A pattern is developing
Fresh from winning his first major at the Australian Open, Djokovic enters the French Open as one of the tournament favourites. The Serb drops only one set on the way to the semis but once more he is beaten in straight sets by Nadal, who is still to lose a match at Roland Garros. 2009:A few steps back
An uncharacteristically early exit from Djokovic, as he is eliminated in straight sets in the third round by Philipp Kohlschreiber. Amazingly, this event is the last time Djokovic failed to reach the quarter-final of a grand slam.
2010:Reeled in
Djokovic is looking good at two sets up in the quarter-final against Jurgen Melzer, but the Austrian completes a miraculous comeback to stun the Serb. Djokovic has never lost from two sets ahead since.
2011: Federer ends winning run
In the middle of an annus mirabilis that took in winning three of the four slams, Djokovic arrived in Paris having won every single match he'd played in 2011. In the semi-final however Roger Federer snapped his 43-match unbeaten streak to triumph in four sets after three hours and 39 minutes of stunning tennis.
2012:First final but dream dashed by familiar foe
Djokovic finally reaches his first French Open final, but Nadal is too strong once again. Having beaten the Spaniard in a five-set epic at the Australian Open four months earlier, Djokovic is hopeful of causing an upset, but the perennial French Open champion triumphs again. The final is a close affair, but Nadal prevails in four sets.
Probably the match that haunts Djokovic more than any other, the Serb is within a whisker of finally beating Nadal in Paris but just falls short. In a semi-final match for the ages, Djokovic fights back from a set and then two sets to one down to force a decider against the champion. In the final set, Djokovic leads by a break of serve and has a point to go up 5-2 but touches the net when putting away an easy volley and loses the game. Buoyed by the reprieve, Nadal breaks again and clinches the set 9-7 to edge a marathon encounter lasting four hours and 37 minutes.
2014: Nadal too strong again
It's the final rather than the semis, but it's the same result for Djokovic: defeat to Nadal. Things look bright for the number two seed when he wins the first set, but Nadal fights back to win in four and claim his ninth French Open.
2015: Rafa vanquished at last but still more misery
At long long last Djokovic gets the better of Nadal at Roland Garros, beating the King of clay on the Paris dirt at the seventh attempt. In the end, the quarter-final match is a comfortable affair, with Djokovic winning in straight sets. The world No 1 backs up the victory with a five-set win spread over two days against Andy Murray in the semi final, but again he falls at the final hurdle. This time Djokovic runs into an inspired Stan Wawrinka, who plays the match of his life to claim a shock four-set win that ensures his opponent's wait to complete the career Grand Slam continues.

Can Djokovic finally complete the career Grand Slam?

Can Serena get her groove back? Will she win the title?? (click here )

THANKS: Pictures shown here are adopted from world wide web sources.

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