Preview: The current great rivalry in men's tennis will see its latest chapter unfold in the final of the French Open on Sunday. For the third grand slam running, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will battle it out for the title.
For both men the stakes have never been higher than they are this time around. Having won the three aforementioned meetings, Djokovic stands on the verge of becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four Slam titles at the same time.
Nadal, too has no little incentive heading into the eagerly anticipated encounter. If the Spaniard gets the victory he will claim bypass Bjorn Borg in lifting the Coupe de Mosquetaires for a record-breaking seventh time.
For the King of Clay, though, the fear of losing might be as great a motivation as the prize for winning. Nadal was dominated by Djokovic through last year and into this season's Australian Open, losing seven straight finals as the Serbian became the undisputed world No.1. But for Djokovic to dethrone Nadal at Roland Garros would be something altogether more seismic.
It would be very much akin to when Nadal ended Roger Federer's domination at Wimbledon with his incredible victory in 2008.
Of late, the signs point to Nadal being able to stave off his great rival from taking away the title which he has made his own, having just lost once in eight visits to Roland Garros.
Nadal arrested his losing streak to Djokovic as the tour switched to clay, with straight-sets victories in the finals of Monte Carlo and Rome. There is little doubt that Nadal has been the more impressive of the two men in Paris as well.
While Nadal has breezed through the draw without the loss of a set, Djokovic has had to battle past two five-set matches, against Andreas Seppi and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Djokovic looked in imperious form, though, as he defeated Roger Federer in straight-sets in the semifinals, meaning that the match with Nadal is balanced on a knife-edge.
The two played for close to six hours in arguably the most physically-intense match in history in the final in Melbourne and we could get something similar on Sunday. But, on the court that Nadal feels at home like no other and where his serve and forehand are arguably most effective, Nadal should just hold off what should be a phenomenal challenge from Djokovic.