Novak Djokovic: Novak Djokovic wins 3am French Open epic against Lorenzo Mus...

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Published Time: 02.06.2024 - 06:01:22 Modified Time: 02.06.2024 - 06:01:22

“He played a fantastic match and came very close to victory,” Djokovic said on court. Novak Djokovic, Djokovic, Lorenzo Musetti

Novak Djokovic’s bid for a 25th grand slam title briefly hung by a thread on a cold and damp night at Roland Garros but the Serbian battled back for an epic win over Lorenzo Musetti in the latest-ever French Open finish.

“He played a fantastic match and came very close to victory,” Djokovic said on court.

“I was in great difficulties but thanks to your support in the fourth set, I became a different player. It was perhaps the best match I have played here.”

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Djokovic recovered from an early loss of serve and went toe to toe with the Italian in the draining first set before edging in front with a crucial break in the 12th game thanks to some incredible defending.

The world No.1 lowered his head and gasped for air following that lengthy rally, but was soon in cruise control in the second set with a spectacular drop that gave him a 3-1 lead.

Musetti, though, broke back and drew level at 4-4 before saving a set point in a high-quality tie break to level the match.

The 30th seed took his game up a few notches to break and surge ahead in the third set, before sealing it comfortably as alarm bells began to ring for a fading Djokovic.

Djokovic, who ranted the state of the surface to the umpire, suddenly rediscovered his rhythm to wrap up the fourth before pulling away from his exhausted opponent in the decider.

“Who’s going to sleep now?” Djokovic added.

“It’s impossible to sleep, so much adrenaline. If you’re having a party, I’m coming.”

Fourth seed Alexander Zverev also survived a scare in an evening marathon to move into the fourth round with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-3) victory over Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor.

Canada’s Felix Auger-Aliassime, the 21st seed, closed out a 6-4, 6-2, 6-1 victory over American Ben Shelton under the Suzanne Lenglen roof, as rain delayed action on the outer courts.

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