French Open - 'You should have respect' - Lorenzo Musetti shouldn't have retired v Novak Djokovic - Becker
The 19-year-old produced a sensational opening two sets to roar into a commanding lead over the world number one. But at some point, Musetti sustained an injury as Djokovic wore down his 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 Becker believes he should have finished the match.
Watch the moment Musetti has to retire against Djokovic in final set
Novak Djokovic was given a massive test by Italian sensation Lorenzo Musetti but, according to Boris Becker, the teenager should not have retired when he did.
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.
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"Novak is a champion and he's been in a situation like this before," Becker told Eurosport. "He then reduces his emotions and the other guy starts thinking, 'Oh, I can beat the number one in the world here', and in those five minutes he's already lost the third set.
"You always have to keep at it and believe in yourself from start to finish, especially against the big guys. Lorenzo Mussetti is the best teenager, together with [Jannik] Sinner.
"Novak had problems with Musetti's style of play. He does everything quite well. He doesn't have the big weapon, but the serve is okay, the movement, the technique and also the confidence because he had already won many matches this year.
"When you face the biggest on the scene, you have to be ready physically and mentally. The young guns don't understand that. It's not just playing tennis, it's about character and personality.
I haven't seen a very bad injury. That's why I don't think it's good to stop. You should have respect for the other player and say, 'He beat me today'. Then it's 6-0. It's a test of maturity. But athletically, he can absolutely keep up.
"For me [in the quarter-finals], it’s advantage Berrettini. He has an off day now and had long matches before. Now he has watched the match very closely and he saw Djokovic is beatable."
'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