The result officially goes into the books as a retirement by Lorenzo Musetti, a talented 19-year-old from Italy producing his Grand Slam debut. The rating when he ceased showed Djokovic forward 6-7 (7), 6-7 (2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.
It required Djokovic over two sets and two hours to get going in the right direction at Court Philippe Chatrier, but once he did, it turned into a one time trip. That included a 19-point run for him bridging the end of the third group and start of the fourth.
Musetti, so very good at the outset with his one-handed backhand and tremendous touch, is hardly used to the best-of-five-set format in the majors and he took a medical timeout after the fourth. The French tennis federation said Musetti's reason for stopping was back pain.
This was the next five-setter of Musetti's profession -- he won his own third-rounder that way -- while Djokovic enhanced to 34-10 when moving the distance.
Djokovic wound up 9 for 9 on his break-point opportunities and with a 53-30 border in winners.
How surprising was it only to observe Musetti take the opening pair of sets against Djokovic, who is seeking his second French Open championship and 19th Grand Slam decoration overall?
The top-seeded Djokovic never had been defeated at Roland Garros by someone rated as low as the No. 76 Musetti. Djokovic's only previous reduction against a teenager at the French Open came in 2006 against a kid by the name of Rafael Nadal. And Djokovic entered the afternoon 14-0 at the fourth round in the place.
Plus, think about Djokovic's current form: He had been 10-0 at Grand Slam matches in 2021 and had not ceded more than just four games in any set in Paris -- let alone an whole set -- while dropping a total of just 23 matches until Monday.
Finally , he earned his fifth career comeback from two sets down by limiting his mistakes and creating Musetti seem like what he is: Someone with plenty of promise but far less expertise than Djokovic.
The 34-year-old in Serbia reached his album 15th quarterfinal in Paris and 49th significant quarterfinal in all. It will come from another Italian, No. 9 seed Matteo Berrettini, who innovative without having to swing his racket once Monday.
That is because the man Berrettini was likely to confront the fourth round, 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer, withdrew as a way to allow his surgically repaired right knee and the remainder of his 39-year-old body rest having a watch on Wimbledon later this month.
Put simply fourth-round men's actions on the upper half of the draw, No. 10 seed Diego Schwartzman spared seven set points in the opening set on the best way to removing Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (9), 6-4, 7-5. Schwartzman, a semifinalist at Roland Garros at 2020, next will face 13-time winner Nadal or No. 18 Jannik Sinner -- who, like Musetti, is an Italian who is 19.
On a day that started with sunlight shining, until clouds intervened, Djokovic's two-handed backhand, his best shot, was off. Way off.
From the second game of the next set, he already had gathered two dozen unforced mistakes off that wing .
And while Djokovic is generally adept at tiebreakers -- he made no errors at all from the 3 tiebreakers of the 2019 Wimbledon final win against Federer -- Musetti was on-target and so good in those who high-pressure, high-stakes environment. And while Djokovic is normally adept at tiebreakers -- he made no mistakes at all in the 3 tiebreakers of the 2019 Wimbledon final win against Federer -- Musetti was on-target so good in people who high-pressure, high-stakes environment. Musetti is now 10-0 in tour-level tiebreakers because of his nascent career.