Underdog Swiss player Stan Wawrinka puts World No 1's prowess in perspective ahead of today's French Open men's singles final at Roland Garros
Paris: Novak Djokovic can become the eighth man to claim a career Grand Slam in the French Open final on Sunday when he takes on Stan Wawrinka who has described the World No 1 as a "machine".
French Open: Djokovic downs Murray, faces Wawrinka for title
Djokovic takes a 17-3 career lead into his clash against the popular Wawrinka whose win over the Serb in the 2014 Australian Open quarter-finals put him on the way to his first and so far only major title.
Novak Djokovic celebrates his semi-final win over Andy Murray at Roland Garros in Paris on Saturday. Pic/AFP
It also snapped an eight-year losing streak against the eight-time Grand Slam trophy winner. Djokovic will be playing in his third French Open final having lost the 2012 and 2014 championship matches to nine-time Paris champion Rafael Nadal.
But having handed Nadal just his second ever loss at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals and then seeing off World No 3 Andy Murray in five sets in a semi-final stretched over two days, the 28-year-old is primed for history.
Only Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Nadal have won all four majors.
But Djokovic also has even greater objectives in sight -- victory over Wawrinka would put him halfway to a calendar Grand Slam, a challenge so daunting that only Budge (1938) and Laver (1962 and 1969) have managed to pull it off.
"It is obviously very encouraging knowing that I have won all of the big events from last October, and playing some of my best tennis," said Djokovic, who has lost just twice in 41 matches in 2015, is on a 28-win streak and has already claimed a fifth Australian Open as well as Masters at Indian Wells, Miami, Monte Carlo and Rome this year.
But Wawrinka, who put out Federer in the quarter-finals, insists his poor record will not be a factor as he tries to escape the ‘one Slam wonder’ club. "He’s a machine," said the 30-year-old. "But again, he has never won the French Open. Maybe he’s gonna play his best tennis and beat me straight sets," he said.
"But I shouldn’t forget that my game can bother the top players and when I am in form I can seize the opportunity to defeat them all."
"My dream was to play Roland Garros, not to win it, not to reach the final," said former junior champion Wawrinka.