Novak Djokovic's Superhuman French Open Victory

Novak Djokovic delivered a stunning performance to defeat Francisco Cerundolo and reach the quarter-finals of the French Open despite a knee issue. The victory marks his 370th Grand Slam match win and his 59th major quarter-final appearance, setting new records and overcoming significant challenges on the clay court.

Reuters | Updated: 04-06-2024 00:51 IST | Created: 04-06-2024 00:51 IST
Novak Djokovic's Superhuman French Open Victory
Novak Djokovic

Defending champion Novak Djokovic produced another superhuman effort 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, as the top seed shrugged off a knee issue for a milestone win. 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 retired Swiss great Roger Federer but his title rivals will be smelling blood after another up-and-down display.

When the dust settled on his second five-setter in less than 48 hours at Roland Garros, Djokovic celebrated reaching his 59th major quarter-final - the most by any men's player - to pip his long-time rival Federer again. "Again a big, big, big thank you because once again like the last match. The win is your win," an exhausted Djokovic told the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd in fluent French.

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 in sight for Cerundolo when he raced 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 in the deciding set, Djokovic took a nasty tumble during a point and ranted about the state of the Court Philippe Chatrier surface. He dusted himself off and the smile returned shortly after as he executed a sensational drop volley while doing the splits at 3-3 and celebrated the point by lying on the court with his arms outstretched in a superhero pose.

With the crowd firmly behind him, Djokovic closed out a superb victory and paid tribute to fans on the main showcourt at around 9 p.m local time.

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

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