At the French Open, Novak Djokovic defeated Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in a five-set epic match that concluded at 03:07 in the morning. Towards the close of a rain-affected game day at Roland Garros, the reigning champion overcame a two-set disadvantage to win 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-0 in a third-round match.

A motivated Musetti looked ready to send the 37-year-old Serbian out of the competition. However, halfway through the fourth set, Djokovic gained new life and rattled off six straight breakaways to force and then easily win a decider. 

After clinching the match in 4 hours and 29 minutes, Djokovic, the title defender, will now try to win a fourth French Open championship. In the round of sixteen, he will face 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina.

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Following his win, Djokovic admitted: “I don’t want to get into it [the schedule]. I have my opinions, but I think there are great things to talk about in this match today… Both Lorenzo and my performances stand out, so I don’t want to be talking about the schedule. I think some things could have been handled a different way, but there’s also a beauty in winning a match [so late].”

Previously, before retiring injured in the fifth set of the 2021 Roland Garros tournament, Musetti, then a teenager, gave Djokovic a scare in the fourth round. This season, Musetti, the 22-year-old, got off to a fast start as well, breaking serve in the third game of the match. However, Djokovic instantly answered in kind and eventually survived his rival in a lengthy rally to win his first set point.

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To even the match, Musetti overcame a 4-1 lead in the second set and saved a set point on Djokovic’s serve in the tie-break. He then broke twice in the third set to get within one point of victory.

While Musetti’s intensity hardly wavered in the fourth game, Djokovic found an extra gear because of his abundance of experience, and he sealed the win with a sensational cross-court forehand return.


Source: BBC

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