“Not Something You Want to Experience”: Novak Djokovic Reflects on Own Career After Lorenzo Musetti’s Retirement at French Open 2021 4th Round

Published 06/07/2021, 2:27 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 3, 2021 Serbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning his second round match against Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Over the past decade, world number one Novak Djokovic has made it his duty to overcome adversity in matches, especially at Grand Slams. It’s the reason why many opponents couldn’t beat him despite playing their best game.


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During his fourth-round match against the Italian youngster Lorenzo Musetti, the 18-time Major champion came back from two sets down to win the match.

Musetti took 2 hours to win two highly competitive tie-breakers against the Serb, but Djokovic barely took an hour to win the next two sets.


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Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 7, 2021, Serbia’s Novak Djokovic in action during his fourth round match against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

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Novak Djokovic has high praise for Lorenzo Musetti after French Open contest

While it’s true that the Italian’s physical level dropped after the first two sets, the Serb found a different level of his game once the third set started. To make things worse, Lorenzo Musetti was down 0-4 in the deciding set, before retiring from the match due to an injury.

Anyone who witnessed this fourth-round matchup between Djokovic and Musetti at Roland Garros would have felt the match clearly going the way of the Italian.

But the Serb’s monumental ability to take away the opponent’s momentum worked its charm in the third set. After the third-set debacle, Musetti never recovered as his body took a toll after two heavy-weight sets.

Speaking to the press after reaching the quarter-finals, Djokovic praised the Italian for playing high-quality tennis in the first two sets. The Serb also wished him well for the future.

“The experience is the best teacher. I wish Musetti all the best. We know each other quite a well, he’s a nice guy. If he keeps going on this way, he will become a top player some day, he has everything,” said the world number one.

“I had to retire from some matches. It’s not funny” – Djokovic

During the initial stages of his career, the Serb received flak for retiring mid-way in multiple matches across grand slams. In the semi-finals of Wimbledon 2007, Djokovic retired against rival Rafael Nadal, citing an infected blister toe.

Even in his quarter-final match against Andy Roddick at the 2009 Australian Open, the Serb retired from the match due to cramps, fatigue, and dizziness.

As the world number one knew what it feels to retire mid-way from a match, he had a few positive words for Lorenzo Musetti owing his retirement after being down 0-4 in the fifth set.

“At the beginning of my career also I had to retire from some matches. It’s not funny, not something you want to experience as a young player,” Djokovic concluded.


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From his experiences, Novak Djokovic made a strong career for himself to become one of the all-time greats in tennis. His mental agility will be talked about for years after his retirement.


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Coming to the French Open, the Serb will next face another Italian Matteo Berrettini in the quarter-finals. Berrettini moved to quarters after Roger Federer‘s decision to withdraw from Roland Garros.


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Sagar Ashtakoula

392 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.