French Open 2023: Who will win the men's final?

History will be on the line for Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros on Sunday as he tries to win a men's record 23rd Grand Slam title.

The 36-year-old takes on Norwegian Casper Ruud, who is through to the French Open final for the second year in a row.

Victory for Djokovic would move him ahead of Rafael Nadal in the all-time list, level with Serena Williams and one behind the overall leader, Margaret Court, while Ruud is chasing his first Slam title, having also lost in the US Open final last year.

Here's how each player could prevail at the French Open final.

Why Novak Djokovic will win

He's Novak Djokovic. This will be his 34th Grand Slam final, equaling Chris Evert. The chase for history has always been an inspiration, and after winning the Australian Open in January, he'll also be halfway to the calendar-year Grand Slam should he come out on top on Sunday.

Djokovic has won all four of his previous meetings with Ruud without dropping a set, and he has dropped just one set on his way to the final. Moreover, in his semifinal against Carlos Alcaraz, he produced his best tennis of the fortnight for most of the first two sets, peaking at the end of a Slam yet again.

If he needs any more encouragement, Djokovic will also return to the top of the world rankings by winning here. In terms of experience, there's no comparison. Ruud is in his third Slam final, but no one knows how to handle the emotions and the physical demands of a two-week Slam like Djokovic.

He would be the oldest winner of the French Open in the Open era, and though the fact that there is such a lot at stake brings its own pressure, he is well-equipped to handle it.

Why Casper Ruud will win

Having lost his form at the start of the year, Ruud has picked up in the clay-court season and, like Djokovic, is peaking at exactly the right time. The Norwegian admits he found it daunting coming to Paris trying to defend runner-up points from last year, but with every match he has looked more and more comfortable and confident.

Wins over Holger Rune and Alexander Zverev, for the combined loss of one set, were particularly impressive, and there's no doubt clay is his best surface, with nine of his 10 ATP Tour titles coming on the surface.

He's also spent one hour, 45 minutes less than Djokovic on court, thanks in large part to a walkover early on, so he will go into the final with energy. If there's any doubt about Djokovic's elbow -- he had treatment in the semifinal -- Ruud is ready to take advantage.

In last year's final, Ruud was worn down by Nadal, a man he idolized so much he even posed for a photo with him after the match. This time, Ruud has experience, consistency and confidence, and he will revel in the role of the underdog.

What will happen

The biggest problem for Ruud -- and he knows it -- is that if Djokovic plays his best, or close to it, that will be too good.

The way he came out against Carlos Alcaraz in the semifinals, and as Andy Roddick put it, watching on TV, "took his legs away" was mightily impressive, and though Ruud will run and run and ask plenty of questions, he lacks a weapon to punch holes in Djokovic's defense.

Djokovic controls his own destiny, doesn't mind being the villain or on the receiving end of jeers from the crowd and is totally focused on finishing the job.

He's 22-11 in Grand Slam finals, has never lost a set to Ruud and just manages the big occasions so well that it's hard to see him missing out on history. Ruud could win a set for the first time, but it would be a massive surprise should Djokovic not be lifting the title for a third time come Sunday afternoon.