Djokovic walked off the ledge at Roland Garros, but won a marathon match that ended at 3 in the morning and went down in history

Djokovic walked off the ledge at Roland Garros, but won a marathon match that ended at 3 in the morning and went down in history
Djokovic walked off the ledge at Roland Garros, but won a marathon match that ended at 3 in the morning and went down in history

He walked along the ledge, but did not fall. She reacted in time. Novak Djokovic played a game for history in Roland Garros and took out the ticket round of 16 of the tournament where he will face the Argentine Francisco Cerúndolowho previously won over the North American Tommy Paul.

To the 37 yearsthe Serbian had a marathon session in the Philippe Chatrier against the young Lorenzo Musetti in a match that It ended just after 3 a.m. in France (3:07) and became the one who later finished in this contest in all of history. After four and a half hours of on-field actionthe current world number 1 and defending champion celebrated a 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3 and 6-0 to avoid what would have been a milestone in his final years in a Grand Slam.

It must be taken into account that since he lost on January 19, 2017, surprisingly against the Uzbek Denis Istomin in the second phase of the Australian Open, the Serbian had his worst performances in the four most important tournaments on the circuit: three rounds of 16 distributed between the Australian Open 2018 (Korean Hyeon Chung beat him), the US Open 2019 (he left due to injury against Stan Wawrinka) and the US Open 2020 (He was disqualified against Pablo Carreño Busta after hitting a ball boy with a ball). On the other hand, he was champion four times at Wimbledonothers four in Australian Open, two at the US Open and two at Roland Garrosin addition to finalist three other times and semi-finalist twice.

Nolewho arrived in France without having been a finalist in any tournament after falling in three semifinals throughout 2024, had taken a solid first step against the local wild card Pierre-Hugues Herbert (6-4, 7-6 and 6-4) and then he also swept the Spaniard Roberto Carabllés Baena in three sets (6-4, 6-1 and 6-2).

Musetti came to this duel with a victory in his history over Djokovic after eliminating him in the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters 1000 from last year, although had lost the other four previous matches against the Serbian. The 22-year-old Italian, 30th in the world, won two titles in his career (both in 2022) and had his best level in a Grand Slam with the round of 16 he signed last year at Roland Garros (he was eliminated by Carlos Alcaraz) and with that same instance of the 2021 version when he abandoned due to physical problems against a certain Djokovic.

The Italian player had a high performance even though he deflated towards the end. The psychological break came with the tight break that he signed Nole in the fourth set to go 3-2 up and then give him another slap with a new break that put him 5-2. By then there was no gas left in Musetti’s mind, despite making one of the match points in that fourth set. Latest? A resounding 6-0 in half an hour.

* Musetti’s goal in the fourth set

“It was an incredible game. I want to thank everyone who stayed awake. Everyone enjoyed it. We enjoyed it sometimes, and sometimes not because Musetti played an incredible match in the second and third sets. I didn’t find many solutions, but the support of the public made me pick up a couple of games. The fifth set was fantastic without losing a game. We made history today, Musetti also deserves recognition,” he noted in ESPN after signing the 369th Grand Slam victory of his career.

When they told him that he should think about cerundolo, whom he would face on Monday, joked that in the next few hours “he will be sleeping” due to the time at which his game ended during the early hours of Sunday, June 2, and gave his opinion about the Argentine: “A lot of respect for him. He’s a great player, a great guy, very consistent. He is Argentine, he knows how to play very well. I have to recover first of all because I’m going to have to run against him a lot.”

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