NO matter which men triumph in today’s singles semi-finals at Roland Garros, the stage will be set for an enthralling finale. On one half of the bracket, veterans Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will duke it out for a place in Sunday’s showpiece while in the other, up-and-comers Alexander Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas will compete for a shot at a first Grand Slam title.

Regardless of the winners of this afternoon’s semis, we know that the final will be compelling as the next generation of tennis stars attempt to overhaul the current crop that have ruled the roost for so long. Whether it’s Nadal or Djokovic, Zverev or Tsitsipas, the challenge remains the same.

Judy Murray for one can’t wait to take in the action and see if a young pretender can steal the crown off the head of tennis royalty. And the fact that the likes of Nadal and Djokovic are still competing at the highest level of the sport, she insists, will work both for and against them. On the one hand, their longevity provides inspiration for young players forging a tennis career. On the other, it inevitably invites challenge.

“It’s interesting the way that the draw worked out,” Judy Murray said ahead of the cinch Championships at Queens. “The remarkable thing is that you’ve got Djokovic and Nadal, who have won so many slams between them over so many years, still going strong and playing great tennis.

“They’re both so driven and passionate in everything that they do and they’re the best example for the younger players coming through to follow.

“They show the possibility of increasing the longevity of your career. So many advances in sport science and sport medicine over the years are proving that players can stay at the top end of a very gruelling and individual sport with a stacked calendar. They play 11 months a year and still keep producing incredible, epic five-setters across the course of a fortnight.

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“It’s just incredible. I’ve known Novak and Rafa since they were both about 11 – Jamie and Andy both played them in under-12 competitions in Europe – so they’re part of our furniture. I just love the fact that they’re out there and doing great things and inspiring everybody.”

Djokovic and Federer – the world No.1 and No.3 respectively – might well be providing inspiration with their indefatigability but Murray believes their dominance of Grand Slams will be pushing the likes of Tsitsipas and Zverev on to match their achievements.

She added: “In the other side of the draw with Tsitsipas and Zverev, you’ve got the young guard coming through who play their own exciting brands of tennis; lots of power, lots of guile. They’re great athletes and they are the future. They’re coming for these older guys.

“It’s a fascinating match-up because either way you’re going to get a final between the old guard and one of the emerging players. In the top half you’ve got the two guys with loads of Grand Slams between them versus Tsitsipas and Zverev who don’t have any. It’s the young pretenders taking on the kings of the castle.

“I hate when people say they’ve no idea who’s going to win – of course you don’t, no one does! They will be fascinating semis and you’ll get that contrast in the final between the old guard and the next generation. So there’s lots to look forward to.”

Judy Murray was talking ahead of the cinch Championships. cinch is the lead partner of the LTA, for more information go to