Novak Djokovic Overcomes Injuries and Defeats Cerundolo in Thriller

Defending champion Novak Djokovic battled past Francisco Cerundolo in a five-set thriller to reach the French Open quarter-finals. Despite a knee issue and an inconsistent performance, Djokovic secured his 370th Grand Slam match victory, surpassing Roger Federer. The 25-year-old opponent squandered key opportunities, allowing Djokovic to clinch the win.

Reuters | Updated: 04-06-2024 00:28 IST | Created: 04-06-2024 00:28 IST
Novak Djokovic Overcomes Injuries and Defeats Cerundolo in Thriller
Novak Djokovic

Defending champion Novak Djokovic toiled to subdue Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 6-1 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-3 on Monday and reach the quarter-finals of the French Open after the top seed recovered from a knee issue during the milestone victory.

The Serb, who is chasing a record-extending 25th Grand Slam title, sealed his 370th match victory at the majors that broke a tie with Swiss great Roger Federer but his title rivals will be smelling blood after another up-and-down display. The 37-year-old showed no early signs of fatigue from his marathon third-round win over Lorenzo Musetti, a 4-1/2 hour epic that ended in the early hours of Sunday morning, as he blitzed claycourt specialist Cerundolo in the opening set.

He sustained a right knee issue early in the next and needed treatment on court before saving four break points to draw level at 3-3 with a backhand bullet, but allowed his opponent a way back in by surrendering his serve in the 12th game. Cerundolo grabbed another break early in the next set to go 3-0 up and comfortably got ahead in the clash as alarm bells began to ring for Djokovic in a second straight match at the claycourt Grand Slam he has won three times.

The finish line seemed to appear for Cerundolo when he went up 4-2 in the next set but the 25-year-old squandered the advantage as Djokovic sent down two big serves and produced a spectacular drop en route to holding for 6-5 before levelling the contest. Having dropped serve after a fast start, Djokovic took a nasty tumble during a point and ranted about the state of the Court Philippe Chatrier surface before dusting himself off to close out a superb victory.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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