Novak Djokovic survived a huge scare as he recovered from two sets down to see off French Open debutant Lorenzo…
Novak Djokovic survived a huge scare as he recovered from two sets down to see off French Open debutant Lorenzo Musetti, who was forced to retire through injury.
World number one Djokovic was appearing in the fourth round of the competition for a 12th successive year.
However, the Serb found himself in trouble against the Italian teenager, who was making his first appearance in the main stages of the event.
World number 76 Musetti, who has trained with Djokovic on several occasions, showed no fear on Court Philippe Chatrier and produced sublime tennis as he took the opening two sets on tie-breaks.
Those were the first dropped by the top seed at Roland Garros this year. Nevertheless, he responded like a champion; rattling through the next two sets in just 41 minutes to level, while only dropping a single game along the way.
Musetti briefly left the arena for a medical timeout prior to the deciding set, but he was evidently struggling upon his return.
Djokovic took full advantage to surge into a commanding 4-0 lead and to the brink of victory, which was handed to him prematurely as his opponent was unable to continue and subsequently retired.
The 34-year-old’s last-eight opponent will be another Italian in Matteo Berrettini, who received a bye following the withdrawal of Roger Federer on Sunday.
Diego Schwartzman also struggled in the early stages of his straight-sets win over Jan-Lennard Struff.
The 10th seed, who was yet to drop a set, trailed 5-1 in the opener, but saved seven set points as he clawed his way back to snatch the lead in a tie-break.
A semi-finalist here last year, Schwartzman controlled proceedings from there as he took the next two (6-4 7-5) to move to within another victory of matching that performance.
The Argentine’s reward is a showdown with reigning champion Rafael Nadal, who has now won 35 straight sets at Roland Garros following his 3-0 rout of Jannik Sinner.
The 13-time winner trailed the Italian 5-3 in the opening set, but reeled off four consecutive games to draw first blood.
And it was one-way traffic from there for Nadal, who only dropped a further three games as he raced into the quarter-finals.
Defending women’s champion Iga Swiatek also kept her title defence on track with a straight-sets (6-3 6-4) victory over Marta Kostyuk, who was appearing in round four for the first time.
The eighth seed, who has now won 22 sets without reply at Roland Garros, will play Maria Sakkari in the quarter-finals.
The Greek ace dropped just four games as she powered past 2020 finalist Sofia Kenin to secure her first appearance in the last eight of a Grand Slam event.
Barbora Krejcikova and Coco Gauff also find themselves in uncharted Grand Slam territory.
Krejcikova dropped just two games in her dominant straight-sets win over a lacklustre Sloane Stephens, while 17-year-old Gauff became the youngest woman to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final since 2006 after a 6-3 6-1 rout of African number one Ons Jabeur.
Elsewhere, the Dutch pair of Diede de Groot and Aniek van Koot secured a fourth consecutive wheelchair women’s doubles title with a 6-3 6-4 win over Yui Kamiji and Jordanne Whiley, while Australia’s Dylan Alcott completed a hat-trick of quad wheelchair men’s singles triumphs by beating Sam Schroder in straight sets (6-4 6-2).
Great Britain’s Alfie Hewett successfully defended his wheelchair men’s singles crown by seeing off top seed Shingo Kunieda 6-3 6-4; adding to his victory in the doubles event on Sunday.
French Open 2021 Results
Monday June 7
Court Philippe Chatrier
Ons Jabeur 1-6, 3-6 Coco Gauff
Novak Djokovic 6-7, 6-7, 6-1, 6-0, 4-0 (Ret) Lorenzo Musetti
Rafael Nadal 7-5, 6-3, 6-0 Jannik Sinner
Marta Kostyuk 3-6, 4-6 Iga Swiatek
Court Suzanne Lenglen
Sloane Stephens 2-6, 0-6 Barbora Krejcikova
Diego Schwartzman 7-6, 6-4, 7-5 Jan-Lennard Struff
Sofia Kenin 1-6, 3-6 Maria Sakkari