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World No. 1 Djokovic Survives 5-Set Epic To Advance In French Open Match That Ends After 3 AM



World No. 1 Djokovic Survives 5-Set Epic To Advance In French Open Match That Ends After 3 AM

Novak Djokovic stays alive for a twenty fifth Grand Slam title and to retain his world No. 1 rating.

The 37-year-old Serb equaled Roger Federer atop the all-time majors win checklist at 369 by outlasting No. 30 seed Lorenzo Musetti of Italy, 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 on Courtroom Philippe Chatrier to advance to the fourth spherical of the French Open. Djokovic, who’s looking for his fourth Roland Garros title, prevailed after 4 hours, 29 minutes.

The match started at simply after 10:30 p.m. native time, two hours later than it was scheduled, and ended at 3:08 a.m. It was the newest ending in Roland Garros historical past and the second longest match of this 12 months’s French Open.

“The distinction was the gang,” Djokovic stated on court docket. “hat’s why I’m talking in French. It’s unimaginable you stayed. There are even plenty of youngsters who ought to be sleeping. It’s gonna be exhausting to get to mattress. My adrenaline is de facto going. However now, let’s go to mattress!”

Djokovic — who improved to 36-10 in five-setters at majors — will subsequent face No. 23 Francisco Cerúndolo on Monday evening.

Three years in the past, Djokovic overcame a two-sets-to-love deficit to prevail over Musetti within the fourth spherical when the Italian retired within the fifth et.

Djokovic must at the very least attain the ultimate to have an opportunity of stopping one other Italian, Jannik Sinner, from ascending to world No. 1 after Roland Garros. Djokovic, the all-time males’s chief with 24 Grand Slam titles, misplaced to eventual champ Sinner within the Australian Open semifinals.

“He’s like LeBron James to me,” John McEnroe stated on Peacock of Djokovic. “[James is] 39. [Djokovic] continues to be giving it everythihng. It’s superb to me.”

Twelve of the highest 13 males’s seeds stay alive heading into the spherical of 16.

Extra rain delays stored Djokovic ready within the Roland Garros locker room earlier than the match. He then complained in the course of the match in regards to the situation of the clay, asking for extra fixed sweeping of the court docket.

At occasions in the course of the center of the match, it appeared that Djokovic may not have the legs or the need to drag it out.

However within the decisive fifth set, Djokovic broke for a 2-0 lead when Musetti hit a contact forehand vast. Each males bent over exhausted after the purpose.

Djokovic seized a 4-0 double break when he hit a deep forehand that Musetti smacked vast after it hit the online.

With Musetti serving at 0-5, 15-40, Djokovic received it with a crosscourt forehand winner.

With Djokovic struggling in the course of the match, Musetti took a 4-1 lead within the third set and served it out at 5-2 when Djokovic sailed a forehand volley lengthy on set level.

Within the fourth set, Djokovic broke for a 3-2 lead after which pumped his fist to the gang. He earned a double-break for 5-2 after which, after giving one again, tied the match at two units apiece with a forehand volley winner.

Alexander Zverev supplied the early drama on Chatrier because the German No. 4 seed was dragged right into a battle by Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor earlier than prevailing 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-3). He was down a double-break within the fifth set.

“I all the time battle towards him. I do not wish to play towards him however all of the credit score to him for taking all of it the way in which,” Zverev, who took out 14-time champ Rafael Nadal within the first spherical, stated after avoiding what would have been his earliest loss in Paris since a first-round exit in 2017.

“Unbelievable participant and fighter till the tip. The environment right this moment was unbelievable. I beloved each second of it.”

With Grigor Dimitrov’s match towards Zizou Bergs shifted to the principle showcourt, Djokovic needed to twiddle his thumbs forward of his conflict with Musetti. Dimitrov superior in 4 units and and can subsequent face No. 8 Hubert Hurkacz within the fourth spherical after Hurkacz ousted Canadian Denis Shapovalov in 4 units.

No. 5 Daniil Medvedev acquired previous Tomáš Macháč in 4 units and can subsequent meet No. 11 Alex de Minaur.

Ben Shelton, the American No. 15 seed, completed his match, shedding to No. 21 Felix Auger-Aliassime of Canada, 6-4, 6-2, 6-1. His reward is a match with No. 3 Carlos Alcaraz on Monday afternoon.

On the ladies’s aspect, No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka overcame Paula Badosa in a testing conflict between greatest associates, whereas Russian-born Frenchwoman Varvara Gracheva received loads of new admirers after she stored the flag flying for her adopted nation.

(Reuters contributed reporting)

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