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Roland-Garros 2024: Djokovic defeats Musetti in the early hours

In a crazy 5-set spectacle , Novak Djokovic defeated Italian Lorenzo Musetti in the third round of the 2024 French Open after 4:29 hours.

by Dietmar Kaspar
last edit: Jun 02, 2024, 08:15 am

With immense willpower, Novak Djokovic made it into the round of 16.
© Getty Images
With immense willpower, Novak Djokovic made it into the round of 16.

Here you can read the entire match in the live ticker

The favorite role before the third round encounter of the 2024 French Open between Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Musetti clearly went to the world number one from Serbia, who leads the head-to-head record with 4:1. However, the first meeting between the two in the Bois de Boulogne in 2021 showed that the 22-year-old Italian is quite capable of annoying the 37-year-old veteran on the red clay at Roland Garros, when the then teenager was able to take the first two sets from the clear favorite in the tiebreak before he had to give up in the fifth set, completely exhausted.

At the beginning of the match, both protagonists felt each other out on the court, but were able to hold their first service game. In the third game, Musetti earned the first two break chances and was able to capitalize on the first with a soft backhand in front of the advancing Djokovic's legs. But the industry leader was able to hit back straight away and managed the immediate re-break. When, without any further service losses at 5:6, it was already looking like a tiebreak from the serving Musetti's point of view, the 37-year-old Djokovic earned two running set balls and converted the first after a spectacular rally.

While Musetti was able to cause a lot of unrest with his varied game during the first set, Djokovic found better solutions at the beginning of the second set and even produced highlights in decisive phases. He extended the early break in the fourth game to a 4:1 lead. However, the Serb made more and more errors as the match progressed, allowing Musetti to equalize at 4:4. Towards the end of the set, both players raised their level, which was reflected in a high-class and dramatic tiebreak, which Musetti won 8:6 with a backhand volley after 2:25 hours of play.

Djokovic was now visibly more tense, constantly arguing with the referee and increasing the lively exchange with his box. Musetti, on the other hand, used the momentum in the fourth game when he took his opponent's serve at zero and was able to win the third set with another break at the end. Encouraged again and again by loud chants of "Novak", Djokovic was more focused again at the start of the fourth act and was able to keep the action on the court open. As the match progressed, the Serb hardly made any more errors, increased the quality of his returns enormously and managed to tie the sets.

In the deciding set, Djokovic continued seamlessly with his performance in the first set and was from then on in a class of his own. Without losing a game, he secured the 7:5, 6:7 (6), 2:6, 6:3, 6:0 victory after 4:29 hours at 3 a.m. local time.

In the round of 16, Djokovic will face 23rd-ranked Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo, who was able to come from a set behind to win four sets against 14th-seeded American Tommy Paul.

Rune next Zverev opponent

After his five-set battle against the Italian Flavio Cobolli, Holger Rune remained undefeated in his third-round match against the Slovakian Jozef Kovalik. In 2:20 hours of play, the 21-year-old Dane won 7:5, 6:1, 7:6 (2) and will challenge the German Olympic champion Alexander Zverev in the round of 16, who won in five sets against the Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

Hurkacz and Dimitrov hold on

Hubert Hurkacz and Grigor Dimitrov were able to finish their matches, which had already begun the day before, in four sets before they will meet in the round of 16. While the 27-year-old Pole, ranked No. 8 in the tournament, was able to defeat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6:3, 7:6 (0), 4:6, 6:1, the Bulgarian, ranked 10th, eliminated the courageous Belgian Zizou Bergs after almost four hours with 6:3, 7:6 (4), 4:6, 6:4.

Ruud and Fritz live up to their role as favourites

In his third round match, two-time French Open finalist Casper Ruud had to accept a set draw against Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry before the 25-year-old Norwegian won the match as No. 7 of the tournament after 2 hours 46 minutes with 6:4, 1:6, 6:2, 6:2. In the round of 16, Ruud faces No. 12 ranked American Tylor Fritz, who had to go the full distance against Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis after leading 2:0 before triumphing after 3 hours 48 minutes with 6:3, 6:2, 6:7 (4), 5:7, 6:3.

Here is the singles table from Roland Garros



by Dietmar Kaspar

Jun 02, 2024, 03:10 am
last edit: Jun 02, 2024, 08:15 am