Novak Djokovic through in dramatic clash as Lorenzo Musetti retires in deciding set

Novak Djokovic through in dramatic clash as Lorenzo Musetti retires in deciding set

Lorenzo Musetti came up short but gave Novak Djokovic a huge challenge as the Italian sensation retired through injury in the deciding set of a thrilling match.

The 19-year-old produced a sensational opening two sets to roar into a commanding lead over the world number one in incredible fashion.

But at some point, Musetti sustained an injury in the three-hour and 27-minute encounter as Djokovic wore down his young opponent in masterful fashion to recover in a formidable comeback.

The top seed won an unbelievable 10 games in succession and 13 of 14 as Musetti wilted through an apparent mixture of a developing injury and pure exhaustion.

Djokovic held a dominant lead in the fifth and deciding set before the Italian decided he could not battle on any longer and retired when behind 6-7(7) 6-7(2) 6-1 6-0 4-0.

Earlier in the match, there was a very nasty moment during the first set when the teenager took a tumble on an advertising board.

At the end of what was an engrossing and entertaining rally, Djokovic pushed his opponent right to the back of the court with a smash with Musetti left very uncomfortable.

As the 19-year-old stepped back, he ended up landing on a metal advertising board at the back of the court where a line judge would sometimes be stationed.

Musetti landed with a thud and, thankfully, the board collapsed under his weight. Even more thankfully, the Italian did not sustain a nasty injury.

Prior to that and in the same game, Djokovic was left baffled by an overrule from the umpire that then got overruled itself.

A huge serve down the T from the world number one was initially called out by the line judge at the back of the court, which the umpire immediately overruled.

But upon closer inspection, the umpire then overruled himself while standing at the net as Djokovic walked over to debate the decision.

The number one seed, clearly unhappy with the call – and subsequent double-overrule – made his feelings known to the umpire.

In the quarter-finals, Djokovic will next take on another Italian, ninth seed Matteo Berrettini, after he was handed a walkover due to Roger Federer withdrawing from the tournament.

Djokovic could take on the 13-time champion at Roland Garros, Rafael Nadal, in the semi-finals in Paris in what would be a repeat from last year’s final in the postponed autumnal edition.

The three most successful players in the history of the men’s game have won 17 of the last 20 Grand Slam titles between them.