World number 1 Novak Djokovic survived a horror in his round of 16 against Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti on Monday and fought for a win in five sets after falling two sets.
While Djokovic raised his level after the first two sets, Musetti struggled with a late injury and was eventually eliminated in the fifth set. It was a disappointing end to a blockbuster competition where the top seed eventually won 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.
In a conversation with the media after the game, Novak Djokovic, who is proud of his fitness and mental strength on the pitch, revealed that he likes to play young players in best-of-five set matches. The Serb believes that his experience helps him in such situations.
“I like playing young guys in the best of five because I feel like even if they bring up a sentence or two to love like they did today, I still like my chances because I feel like I’m physically fit and I know how to wear my opponent down, “said Novak Djokovic. “I’ve won most of the five-setters I’ve played in this tournament and in my career so I think that experience helps.”
The Serb is not wrong; he has won 33 of the 43 five composers he has played in his career with a 7-3 win-loss record at Roland Garros. The three lost games were against Jürgen Melzer (2010), Rafael Nadal (2013) and Dominic Thiem (2019).
Novak Djokovic says that after 2 sets he felt more confident
Novak Djokovic, who hadn’t met Lorenzo Musetti on tour before Monday’s encounter, announced that he was more nervous at the start of the game than when he was two sets behind. The Serb claimed he lost the first two sets to play his punches.
“I would say I was more nervous at the beginning of the game than two sets behind,” said Djokovic. “To be honest, I even liked that I lost the first few sentences because I was only playing under [a] some kind of tension and couldn’t take my punches … But I deserve him for playing well [the] important moments. “
The Serb went on to claim that he felt like a “different player” after taking a toilet break to refocus on two sets.
“After I lost the second set, changed my clothes and came back on the pitch, I just felt different,” he said. “I was a different player. I had [a] better feeling in my recordings. I just had more confidence as I went through the ball. I’ve reduced the number of errors [and] I started playing the way I should play in the beginning. “
Novak Djokovic will face another Italian, Matteo Berrettini, in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Please help Sportskeeda improve its tennis coverage by take this 30 second survey.