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Jun 3, 2024 4:10 pm

Novak Djokovic wins in five sets, reaches French Open quarters

Novak Djokovic

No. 1 seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia overcame a knee injury and a tough fall as he rallied past No. 23 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the French Open quarterfinals on Monday in Paris.

With the victory, Djokovic set the record for most Grand Slam wins at 370, surpassing Roger Federer. Djokovic also has the most Grand Slam quarterfinal appearances with 59, a mark he shared with Federer.

Following a four-hour, 29-minute win in his last match, it took Djokovic four hours and 39 minutes to dispose of Cerundolo.

“Three or four times I was points away from losing this match, and thank you to my opponent,” Djokovic said. “He deserves so much applause, that’s for sure. I’m not sure how I won this match.”

Djokovic awaits the winner of 12th-seeded American Taylor Fritz and No. 7 seed Casper Ruud of Norway. In other fourth-round action, No. 11 seed Alex de Minaur of Australia upset fifth-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the quarterfinals.

After easily winning the first set, Djokovic dealt with a knee issue during the third game of the second set. He was shaking his leg and was given medical attention while laying on a towel on the court. The 37-year-old continued to shake his knee out during the next game and was given a brief massage during the next changeover.

Cerundolo went on to win that set and the next, and was serving up 4-3 in the fourth when Djokovic broke the Argentinian’s serve and eventually took a 5-4 lead. Cerundolo evened it at 5-5 and had a break-point opportunity to go up 6-5, but Djokovic won the next three points and broke his opponent again to win the set.

In the decisive fifth set, Djokovic tumbled during the fourth game and was heard yelling at officials.

“Great job by you guys,” he said. “You know better than us. It’s not slippery at all, not dangerous at all! Well done, supervisor and everyone. Grounds staff, well done.”

Djokovic broke Cerundolo’s serve twice in the final set en route to the victory. For the match, Djokovic saved 15 of 19 break points, compared to 5 of 11 for Cerundolo, who had more winners (68 to 52) and fewer unforced errors (45 to 46).

de Minaur, who won 76 percent of his first-serve points and saved 8 of 10 break points, will face the winner of No. 4 seed Alexander Zverev of Germany and No. 13 seed Holger Rune of Denmark. de Minaur also notched 51 winners to 27 for Medvedev.

–Field Level Media

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