Cyprus Mail
French Open Sport Tennis

Djokovic through after huge scare as Musetti retires

french open
Novak Djokovic survived a huge scare as he fought back from two sets down against teenager Lorenzo Musetti to reach the French Open quarter-finals on Monday, after his Italian opponent retired in the fifth set

Lorenzo Musetti announced his talent to the world but the 19-year-old was unable to pull off a huge shock against Novak Djokovic in the fourth round of the French Open.

Musetti has already made waves on the ATP Tour but this was a grand slam debut for the Italian, who had already beaten David Goffin, Yoshihito Nishioka and Marco Cecchinato.

This was his first chance to test himself against one of the sport’s big beasts and, for two sets, Musetti was mesmerising before fading dramatically, pulling the plug trailing 6-7 (7) 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-0 4-0.

His one-handed backhand is his signature shot and he used it brilliantly, pulling off spectacular winners but surprising Djokovic also with its versatility and robustness.

Musetti seemed comfortable in every situation while Djokovic looked edgy and made unexpected errors, particularly in the two tie-breaks – remarkably, the young Italian has won all 10 he has played at tour level.

When Musetti took the second set, one of the biggest upsets of recent years appeared on the cards, but Djokovic came out firing at the start of the third set and that was all it took to change the momentum completely.

Musetti suddenly could not find the court and his energy levels were rapidly approaching zero as Djokovic surged through the third and fourth sets – dropping just four points in the latter.

Musetti called the trainer before the deciding set for treatment and, with Djokovic in sight of the finish line, he opted to shake hands.

In the last eight Djokovic will face another Italian, Matteo Berrettini, who was the beneficiary of Roger Federer’s withdrawal.

Diego Schwartzman has made it through to the quarter-finals without losing a set, but that hardly tells the story of a dramatic 7-6 (9) 6-4 7-5 victory over German Jan-Lennard Struff.

Struff led 5-1 in the opening set and held seven set points, while he fought back from 4-0 down in the third set, but it was Schwartzman, a semi-finalist last year, who came out on top.

Related Posts

Arsenal’s Gabriel fought off baseball bat-wielding robber

Reuters News Service

Australia’s vaccine mandate is not to ‘blackmail’ Djokovic

Reuters News Service

Historic night for White and England in 20-goal romp

Press Association

Football friendlies open to match-fixing, study shows

Jonathan Shkurko

Norwich’s Pukki denies 10-man Newcastle first win

Reuters News Service

EU calls on China to show proof of tennis star’s wellbeing

Reuters News Service