French Open - 'Novak Djokovic a master' - Wilander and Vinci on thriller with 'unbelievable' Lorenzo Musetti
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 as Djokovic wore down his young opponent to recover in a formidable comeback. When Musetti eventually had to retire in the final set, Djokovic held a 6-7 6-7 6-1 6-0 4-0 lead and his recovery was 'masterful'.
'Djokovic is a master' - Wilander and Vinci react to thriller with 'unbelievable' Musetti
Novak Djokovic was given a massive test by Italian sensation Lorenzo Musetti but, according to Mats Wilander and Roberta Vinci, he showed why he is a "master".
The 19-year-old Musetti 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.
'Wow, amazing!' - Djokovic wins point after falling over and hurting finger
"Did Novak actually cause it [Musetti's injury] by just running him around so much during the first two sets?" Wilander wondered. "Not worrying about the score and then seemingly just knowing exactly what to do - and then he did it for the rest of the match.
"It was unfortunate, but still a great performance by Musetti. Obviously he didn't have it [the injury] in the first two sets so at some point Djokovic wore him down and he broke down physically.
Both tactically and physically, Djokovic is a master.
Italian tennis legend Vinci added of her compatriot: "Lorenzo played an unbelievable match today. The first two sets he played incredibly. After that he looked tired and it is not easy against Novak, it is tough.
"He is not used to playing five sets, so of course he was tired. But I think he is a great player."
'Seriously nasty!' - Awful trip from Musetti on advertising board against Djokovic
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.
'Half the mark is on the line!' - Djokovic rows with umpire on overrule
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.
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.
Highlights: Djokovic comes through big Musetti scare to reach quarters