French Open: Novak Djokovic reaches quarter-final after Lorenzo Musetti retires
World number Novak Djokovic has reached the quarter-final of 2021 French Open after an intense encounter against Italy's Lorenzo Musetti. The 19-year-old stunned the Serbian in the first two sets. However, Djokovic used all his experience to stage a terrific turnaround. Musetti, who qualified for his first main draw of a Grand Slam, retired through injury as Djokovic won 6-7(7), 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.
How did the match pan out?
Musetti staged a terrific turnaround from a 1-3 deficit in the opening set. The Italian eventually won the tie-break 9-7 to take an early lead in the match. The second set was also decided through a tie-break, with Musetti winning it. Djokovic raised his game in the next two sets (6-1 and 6-0). He was cruising in the final set too before Musetti retired.
Djokovic struck a total of 11 aces in the match
Djokovic struck a total of 11 aces and 53 winners in the match. He won 49 percent of the receiving points (59/121). The Serbian clinched 25 out of 39 net points. On the other hand, Musetti committed as many as 49 unforced errors.
French Open: Djokovic reaches the last eight 12th time
With an emphatic win, Djokovic completed the fifth comeback of his career from 0-2. Notably, this could have been Djokovic's earliest exit at the Roland Garros since 2009. Djokovic is now through to the last eight for a 12th consecutive year. He is now 24-3 in the season, having won a record-extending ninth Australian Open title and Serbia Open.
Djokovic set to face Matteo Berrettini
Djokovic has lost one Grand Slam match to a player ranked as low as Musetti (lost to 117th-ranked Denis Istomin in the 2017 Australian Open). He will next face Italy's Matteo Berrettini, who qualified for the last eight after Roger Federer withdrew from the tournament.
Musetti duly tested Djokovic despite losing
Musetti, who looked impressive against Djokovic, is now 16-9 in the season. He reached two ATP Tour semi-finals this year at the Mexican Open and Lyon Open (lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas on both occasions). The Italian had an opportunity of becoming the eighth man in the Open Era to reach the quarter-final on his Grand Slam championship debut.