Novak Djokovic said on Monday he likes nothing better than fighting for his life against a young spoiler.

And that was exactly the scenario for the top seed as he rallied against Italian young gun Lorenzo Musetti for a dramatic 6-7(7), 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 result as the 76th-ranked teenager retired with an apparent groin problem.

“I like to play young guys in best-of-five, because I feel even if they are leading a set or two sets to love, I still like my chances,” the Serb said after his three and-a-half-hour epic.

“I’m physically fit and I know how to wear my opponent down. I’ve won most of the five-setters I have played in this tournament and in my career.

Roland Garros, French Open Day 9 07/06/2021 Loreno Musetti (ITA) loses a two sewt lead fourth round Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

“That experience helps.”

Djokovic said he was sorry about how the match ended on a pullout but had no further sympathy for his 19-year-old opponent. .

“It’s unfortunate for him to finish the match  with retirement. He was obviously struggling physically from probably the beginning of the fourth.”

Djokovic said a complete change of clothes after dropping the first two sets gave him a fresh outlook back on court.

” After I came back I just felt different – I was a different player. 

“I had better feeling in my shots, more confidence going through the ball. I started playing the way I was supposed.

“When I saw him struggling physically, that gave me even more motivation to apply more pressure and finish him off. 

“He was unable to physically sustain the level to give himself a chance to win, he was in the driving position,”


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