Djokovic eyes No 1 ranking against Nadal in French Open final today
Paris: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are used to facing each other with huge prizes at stake and it will be no different today when they meet in the French Open final.
Novak Djokovic (left) and Rafael Nadal celebrate their semis wins over Ernests Gulbis and Andy Murray on Friday respectively. Pics/AFP
Nadal, who is chasing a remarkable ninth title at Roland Garros, is bidding to become the first man to win it five times in a row and the first man in history to win a grand slam title in 10 successive years.
Djokovic, meanwhile, is looking to win the one slam trophy he has never lifted.
Nadal has won their last three slam matches, including in the semi-finals here last year, but Djokovic is on a four-match winning streak and beat the Spaniard in the final in Rome three weeks ago.
"Novak already did a lot of times, positive results here," said Nadal. "It's nothing new for him to be in the final. He has the motivation to win Roland Garros for the first time for sure.
"But at the same time, he has the pressure to win for the first time. I have the pressure that I want to win and the motivation that I want to win the ninth.
Djokovic insists the pressure on him is not as great as in the last two years, saying: "I guess each year I gain that experience in knowing how to handle certain situations psychologically.
"So it is more of a motivation for me, I would say a positive emotion going into the finals. Of course pressure is there. Expectations are there. They are always present when you are playing at this level."
The number of French Open single's title won by Novak Djokovic compared to Rafael Nadal — eight
Djoko's road to final
Round One: beats Joao Sousa 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
Round Two: beats Jeremy Chardy 6-1, 6-4, 6-2
Round Three: beats Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-2, 6-7 (2/7), 6-4
Round Four: beats Wilfried Tsonga 6-1, 6-4, 6-1
Quarter-final: beats Milos Raonic 7-5, 7-6 (7/5), 6-4
Semi-final: beats Ernests Gulbis 6-3, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
Rafa's road to final
Round One: beats Robby Ginepri 6-0, 6-3, 6-0
Round Two: beats Dominic Thiem 6-2, 6-2, 6-3
Round Three: beats L Mayer 6-2, 7-5, 6-2
Round Four: beats Dusan Lajovic 6-1, 6-2, 6-1
Quarter-final: beats David Ferrer 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-1
Semi-final: beats Andy Murray 6-3, 6-2, 6-1