July 24, 2024
Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic conjured up more magic at Roland Garros on Monday to keep alive his hopes of remaining as World No. 1. The Serbian looked down and out against Francisco Cerundolo when he trailed by two-sets-to-one and a break, but he showed incredible resistance to turn the tide and earn a dramatic 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory.

The 37-year-old battled past Lorenzo Musetti in five sets in the third round, finishing at 3:07 a.m. on Sunday morning. The Serbian backed up that remarkable victory with another titanic effort against Cerundolo to earn back-to-back five-set wins for the first time since Roland Garros in 2012, when he reached the final.

“Again a big, big, big thank you because once again like the last match. The win is your win,” Djokovic told the crowd in his on-court interview.

Despite the late finish against Musetti, Djokovic looked fresh during the opening stages against Cerundolo in the pair’s first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting. However, the top seed tweaked his knee at the start of the second set and the issue impaired his movement in the second and third sets, with the Serbian seemingly set to make a shock exit when he trailed 2-4 in the fourth.

Djokovic refused to surrender, though, breaking back to level at 4-4 before he locked in at the end of the set to force a decider in front of a raucous crowd on Court Philippe-Chatrier.

In trademark Djokovic style, the top seed then found his best level in the fifth set. He recovered from squandering a break advantage and a fall at 2-1 to triumph after four hours and 39 minutes. Djokovic’s 370th major win moves him to first for the most victories at Grand Slam level.

Most Men’s Singles Grand Slam Match Wins

Player W-L Titles
Novak Djokovic 370-49 24

Roger Federer 369-60 20

Rafael Nadal 314-43 22

Jimmy Connors 233-49 8

Andre Agassi 224-53 8.

Novak Djokovic has reached the quarter-finals in the French capital 15 consecutive times and 18 overall. The seven-time Nitto ATP Finals champion, who is a three-time winner at the clay-court major, will next play Casper Ruud or Taylor Fritz.

Djokovic is chasing a record-extending 25th major crown and must reach the final just to have a chance of remaining No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings at the conclusion of the tournament. Second seed Jannik Sinner is guaranteed to become the 29th player in history (since 1973) to rise to No. 1 if he reaches the title match.

After sealing his latest dramatic victory, Djokovic raised his arms and soaked in the applause of the crowd. The Serbian is seeking his first title of the season in the French capital, with his best result in 2024 a semi-final showing at the Australian Open.

Cerundolo was aiming to reach his first major quarter-final. The Argentine, who is a two-time tour-level titlist, was unable to close out against Djokovic, misfiring off both wings in the latter stages of the match to suffer an agonising defeat in the French capital.

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