Significant final ahead of the French Open
How this match plays out will potentially be significant ahead of the French Open. A Novak Djokovic win will give the world number one his first title of 2022, and put to bed any lingering fears that off-court issues have prevented him from playing to his usual extremely high standards.
Conversely, a Stefanos Tsitsipas victory will give him added confidence ahead of the clay Grand Slam, in the knowledge that he can consistently compete against elite opposition in major tournaments.
Tsitsipas with serve struggles in recent matches with Djokovic
The top seed, Djokovic, is 1.4840/85 to get the victory and to be celebrating with his first 2022 winners trophy. He's won the last four matches against Tsitsipas, including the last three being on clay, and those clay victories were all within the last two years - including the semi-final and finals of the French Open.
A look at the data from those head to head matches is very useful to understand where Tsitsipas needs to improve. He won just 57% of service points, holding a shade above 70%, and that's clearly not a positive for a player who is pretty serve-oriented.
So, Djokovic has been able to consistently pressure Tsitsipas' strong serve, winning 43% of return points - and the Greek man will need to prevent that to have a chance of avoiding another defeat today.
Twelve month clay data gives Tsitsipas the edge on serve, winning 68% of service points, but also illustrating how difficult he has found it to win service points against Djokovic in recent clay matches given the stats in the previous paragraph. However, Djokovic has a bigger edge on return points won percentage, so his status as favourite looks justified.
Tsitsipas recent clay form is a positive
Having said that, whether Djokovic deserves to be quite this short-priced is another debate. Tsitsipas' supporters will like to think that his serve will have more in the way of answers today, and his good run of form stemming from his title in Monte Carlo onwards, surely will stand him in good stead for the challenge.
At the prices, if I was going to favour any player it would be Tsitsipas at 3.02/1, but Djokovic has shown enough improvement this week with four consecutive straight-set victories to think that his 2022 data is a little misleading and he's now getting back to somewhere close to his best.
It's certainly going to be a fascinating match this afternoon, and a must-watch for any tennis fan.