Novak Djokovic in unparalleled 3am French Open ‘insanity’

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Novak Djokovic has created one other second of historical past after an absurd 3am thriller with Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti.

The Serbian champion was moments away from crashing to his worst defeat on the French Open in 15 years within the early hours of Sunday morning earlier than he launched a dramatic comeback to clinch a five-set victory.

Defending champion and 24-time Grand Slam title winner Djokovic got here from two units to at least one right down to triumph 7-5, 6-7 (6/8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 in a 3rd spherical tie which ended at 3.07am Paris time.

It was the newest end ever seen at Roland Garros with the fifth set beginning after the earlier document. One Tennis TV commentator referred to as it “insanity”.

His four-hour 29-minute victory additionally allowed the 37-year-old world primary to equal Roger Federer’s document of 369 Grand Slam match wins.

His reward is a conflict with Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina for a spot within the quarter-finals.

“I have to say congratulations to Lorenzo Musetti it’s a disgrace somebody needed to lose,” Djokovic stated in his on-court TV interview.

“I need to say to him he performed an unbelievable match. He was very, very near successful.

“I had a little bit of luck at the beginning of the fourth set, at that stage he was the very best participant on the courtroom. He was impenetrable within the fourth.

“He performed with a extremely prime quality. I used to be in nice issue.”

The 22-year-old Musetti had given Djokovic a significant scare on the French Open within the fourth spherical in 2021 when he took a two units lead earlier than harm pressured a remaining set retirement.

Djokovic had arrived in Paris having not gained a title and even reached a remaining within the season for the primary time since 2018.

Including harm to insult, he was by accident hit on the top by a metallic water bottle in Rome earlier than struggling abdomen issues in Geneva.

On Saturday, organisers determined so as to add further matches to the 2 showcourts with roofs at Roland Garros after heavy rain introduced a five-hour suspension of play.

In consequence, it was nearly 10.45pm when Djokovic and Musetti finally took to Courtroom Philippe Chatrier.

Djokovic retrieved an early break within the first set and broke once more within the twelfth sport to safe the opener.

He was 3-1 up within the second earlier than he was pinned again within the seventh sport whereas losing a set level within the tie-breaker.

Musetti was out of the blue the more energizing of the 2 because the clock ticked in the direction of 2am. He swept by means of the third set courtesy of a double break.

Nevertheless, in an astonishing flip round, Djokovic summoned his trademark combating spirit and tenacity to stage the tie with a double break of his personal within the fourth set.

Musetti, 15 years Djokovic’s junior, out of the blue noticed his hopes fade as he rapidly slipped 4-0 down within the decider.

Djokovic accomplished victory with a forehand winner having reeled off 11 of the final 12 video games.

— with AFP

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