Djokovic capsizes before the removal of Musetti

Novak Djokovic showed two very different faces in his round of 16 match at Roland Garros against Lorenzo Musetti. He lost the first two sets in two tie-breaks in which he conducted himself with a certain arrogance against an opponent who crossed him in the first two hours of the game, but finally he could not keep up the rhythm and left when he had practically lost the fifth set. The Serbian had displayed his best tennis and radically changed his attitude to come back and won 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 and retired in 3:27. In the quarterfinals, a round that reaches for the 15th time in Paris (12th in a row) and 49th in Grand Slams, will face on Wednesday another Italian tennis player, Matteo Berrettini, who will arrive much fresher than Djokovic because he went directly through the resignation of Roger Federer. It is Novak’s fifth comeback after a 0-2 Grand Slams (Wimbledon 2005 vs Garcia López, US Open 2011 vs Federer, Roland Garros 2012 vs Seppi, Wimbledon 2015 vs Anderson and Roland Garros 2021 vs Musetti).

Djokovic played well behind the baseline during the first two sets, to the credit of Musetti, but also because of his indolence when proposing exchanges in a passive way, without going on the attack and waiting for the failure. It must be recognized that the 19-year-old and 76th in the world, who some see in his country even with more possibilities of doing great things than Jannik Sinner, did mischief in that long time of dominance. He handled himself with courage and things turned out well for him, with a mixture of order and anarchy that sent the world’s number one out of control.

What perhaps Djokovic was counting on is the logical downturn of the boy, still not used to three-set matches. At the end of the quarter, Lorenzo requested a medical time-out to have his right arm treated, which he must have already exhausted from hitting mamporros with the racket, with a tremendous effort to overwhelm a receiver of the Balkan category. Things had already become difficult for him and Nole did not let go of the prey until he dug it down. However, he will have to be very attentive and raise his level a lot against a rival like Berrettini, great server, who is on a roll and was champion precisely in the first ATP 250 in Belgrade, on clay, and later a finalist in the Mutua Madrid Open.

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