Novak Djokovic edges Francisco Cerundolo in the Roland Garros marathon!

Novak Djokovic survived a knee injury and reached the quarter-final in Paris

by Jovica Ilic
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Novak Djokovic edges Francisco Cerundolo in the Roland Garros marathon!
© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic survived a thriller at Roland Garros, beating Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after four hours and 39 minutes! Thus, Novak secured his 18th Rolkand Garros quarter-final and notched a 370th Major win, passing Roger Federer!

Novak defended all four break points in the opening set and turned 55% of the return points into a double break that pushed him in front. The Serb held at love in the first game of the encounter with a service winner before facing issues at 1-1.

The defending champion denied two break points and held with a forced error to avoid an early exit. Cerundolo squandered a game point in the next one and netted a forehand to suffer a break and fall 3-1 behind. The Serb cemented the advantage with a service winner in the next one, settling into a fine rhythm and making another push on the return in the next one.

Novak placed a crafty winner at the net, securing his second break and forging a 5-1 advantage.

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

Djokovic served for the set in game seven and squandered three set points.

World no. 1 erased two break points and landed a perfect half-volley winner at the net for 6-1 after 39 minutes. The Argentine fired a forehand winner at the beginning of the second set and closed it with an unreturned serve.

Novak responded with a smash winner in the second game, locking the result at 1-1 before starting to feel the pain in his right knee in the next one. Djokovic received a medical timeout and squandered a game point in game four before experiencing two break chances.

Francisco squandered them, and Novak closed the game with a powerful serve for 2-2. The Serb sprayed a backhand error in the fifth game and faced another challenge behind the initial shot in the next one following another treatment on his troubled knee.

Francisco Cerundolo, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Novak Djokovic won another five-setter at Roland Garros for a place in the QF.

Cerundolo created four break points, wasting them and standing on a miserable 0-10 ratio since the start of the duel!

While his rival produced one good hold after another, Novak struggled again in game eight. Francisco generated a break chance with a forehand winner and missed it after a loose backhand. Djokovic closed the game with a drop shot winner and served better at 4-5, landing a service winner and prolonging the battle.

Like in the rest of the set, Cerundolo served well in the 11th game, keeping the pressure on the other side. The Serb sprayed a forehand error in the 12th game, offering the Argentine two set points. Francisco converted the second, delivering his first break after an hour and 56 minutes and leveling the overall score at 1-1.

Experiencing another challenging service game, Djokovic played a couple of loose shots in the second game of the second set, losing serve for the second straight time and pushing his rival in front. Cerundolo cemented the lead with a fine hold in the third game, holding the strings of the duel in his hands against the rival who struggled to produce his best tennis.

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

World no. 1 netted a backhand in the fourth game, offering his rival a break chance. Djokovic erased it with a service winner and embraced five more deuces before closing the game and remaining within one break deficit.

The Argentine left that game behind and landed a forehand down the line winner in the next one, holding at 30 and moving 4-1 in front. The defending champion stayed in touch with a hold after a deuce in game six, hoping for at least some return chances.

Instead, his rival fired a forehand winner in the next one and closed it with an ace for a 5-2 advantage, looking like a man on a mission against the world's best player. Djokovic served to stay in the set in game eight and grabbed it with a service winner, extending the battle and having one last chance on the return.

Francisco felt no pressure, earning a set point with a powerful serve and hitting another for 6-3 after two hours and 45 minutes, moving a set away from a career-best victory. Novak secured the first game of the fourth set with an ace down the T line before missing a backhand in the next one, allowing Francisco to welcome his 12th consecutive comfortable hold!

Djokovic placed a forehand drive-volley winner in the third game, moving 2-1 in front before Cerundolo leveled the score at 2-2 with an ace a few minutes later. The Argentine created a break point in the fifth game, with the Serb struggling to move properly.

Djokovic sprayed a backhand error, losing serve and sending his rival closer to the finish line. Francisco closed the sixth game with another unreturned serve, staying unchallenged in his games and keeping the pressure on Novak.

The Serb found his strokes on serve in the seventh game and held at 15 with an unreturned serve, reducing the deficit to 4-3. Djokovic painted a backhand down the line winner in the eighth game, generating his first break chance since the end of the opening set.

Francisco Cerundolo, Roland Garros 2024© Clive Brunskill / Staff - Getty Images Sport

Cerundolo netted a backhand, losing serve and bringing world no. 1 back to 4-4. The Serb played well in the ninth game, landing a backhand winner and moving 5-4 in front.

The Argentine stayed composed and held at love in game ten after a backhand winner, adding more drama. Francisco created a break chance in the 11th game but missed a backhand after Novak's solid net coverage. Djokovic stayed focused and landed a drop shot winner, holding for a 6-5 lead and sending the pressure to the other side.

Novak made a push on the return in the 12th game, seizing the fourth set point after Francisco's loose forehand and forcing a decider after three hours and 47 minutes!

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

Djokovic held at 30 at the beginning of the final set and created three break chances in the next one.

World no. 1 converted the second with a forced error, extending his streak and moving closer to the finish line. Cerundolo painted a forehand down the line winner in the third game, creating a break chance. Francisco missed a routine forehand before earning the second break chance after Novak's poor drop shot.

The Argentine converted it with a backhand winner after a lucky net cord, returning to the positive side. Novak fell in the fourth game, blasting the organizers and the court conditions. Cerundolo painted a forehand winner at the net, closing the game and locking the result at 2-2.

They held at 30 in games five and six, remaining neck and neck. Djokovic hit the ball well in the seventh game, holding at love and opening a 4-3 gap. Novak created a break chance in game eight and landed a forehand winner for a crucial break. The Serb held in game nine, sealing the deal and winning another marathon.

Novak Djokovic Francisco Cerundolo Roland Garros
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