Valiant Novak Djokovic edges Lorenzo Musetti at 3:06 am at Roland Garros!

Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Musetti played a cracker at Court Philippe-Chatrier

by Jovica Ilic
Valiant Novak Djokovic edges Lorenzo Musetti at 3:06 am at Roland Garros!
© Dan Istitene / Staff - Getty Images Sport

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic remained on the title defense course at Roland Garros following an epic night on Court Philippe-Chatrier. Novak faced Lorenzo Musetti in the third round and prevailed 7-5, 6-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 after four hours and 29 minutes, winning his second five-setter against the Italian on this court!

Thus, the Serb reached the fourth round in Paris for the 17th time and the 14th in a row. Novak and Lorenzo made a late start and battled hard in the opening two sets. They wrapped up the duel at 3:06 am, making it the latest finish in the Roland Garros history!

They traded early breaks in the opening set, and the veteran grabbed another in the closing stages for an early advantage. Novak cracked a powerful forehand in the first game of the encounter, holding at 30 and opening a 30-0 lead on the return in game two.

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Lorenzo stayed focused and clinched four straight points, locking the result at 1-1 and making a push on the return in the next one.

Djokovic netted a routine forehand in the third game, offering his opponent two break points and netting a tough volley on the first to push Musetti in front. The young Italian failed to cement the lead, allowing the Serb to pull the break back in game four and level the score at 2-2.

World no. 1 closed the fifth game after a deuce, and they both served well in the upcoming ones. Lorenzo served to stay in the set at 4-5 and brought it home at love with a powerful serve, securing more drama. Novak held at love in game 11 and found his A-game on the return in the next one.

Djokovic created two set points after Musetti's loose backhand and seized the first after an entertaining exchange, moving 7-5 in front after 55 minutes.

Lorenzo Musetti, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Mason / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic prevailed over Lorenzo Musetti in five sets at Roland Garros.

Carried by this boost, the Serb forged a 4-1 advantage in the second set before the Italian erased it and denied a set point in the second set, leveling the overall score and gaining confidence.

They started the set with three fine holds before Novak took the initiative on the return at 2-1. World no. 1 landed a perfect drop shot, breaking his opponent and forging a 3-1 advantage. Musetti reached a deuce on the return in the next one with a crafty winner before Djokovic closed it with a service winner, cementing the advantage and opening a 4-1 gap.

Lorenzo produced a fine hold in the sixth game and played well on the return in the next one. The Italian welcomed the Serb's careless backhand, pulling the break back and launching his comeback.

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

They served well in the upcoming games, introducing a tie break.

Novak created a set point at 5-5, and Lorenzo denied it with a valiant attack and a smash winner. Musetti converted a set point at 7-6 with a volley winner, leveling the overall score at 1-1 after two hours and 23 minutes. The Italian saved a break point early in the third set and dominated the remaining games.

He broke Djokovic at love in games four and eight, wrapping up the set 6-2 and moving closer to a stunning victory. With his back pushed against the wall, Novak raised his level in the fourth set, delivering three straight breaks at 2-2 and wrapping up the set with a volley winner in game nine for 6-3 and a decider after three hours and 52 minutes!

World no. 1 gained a boost and dominated the decider, sealing the deal with a return winner at 5-0 and booking a place in the last 16.

Novak Djokovic Lorenzo Musetti Roland Garros