World No 1 Novak Djokovic survived a massive scare to beat 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti in the fourth round of the French Open.
Musetti has already made waves on the ATP Tour but this was a grand slam debut for the Italian, who had already beaten David Goffin, Yoshihito Nishioka and Marco Cecchinato.
This was his first chance to test himself against one of the sport’s big beasts and, for two sets, Musetti was mesmerising before fading dramatically, pulling the plug trailing 6-7 (7) 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-0 4-0 due to injury.
His one-handed backhand is his signature shot and he used it brilliantly, pulling off spectacular winners but surprising Djokovic also with its versatility and robustness.
Musetti seemed comfortable in every situation while Djokovic looked edgy and made unexpected errors, particularly in the two tie-breaks – remarkably, the young Italian has won all 10 he has played at tour level.
When Musetti took the second set, one of the biggest upsets of recent years appeared on the cards, but Djokovic came out firing at the start of the third set and that was all it took to change the momentum completely.
Musetti suddenly could not find the court and his energy levels were rapidly approaching zero as Djokovic surged through the third and fourth sets – dropping just four points in the latter.
Musetti called the trainer before the deciding set for treatment and, with Djokovic in sight of the finish line, he opted to shake hands.
04:35pm Nadal 2-0 Sinner*
Unlike his compatriot Musetti, Sinner has the weapons to hurt Nadal but he’s struggling to find his range at the moment. Perhaps going for too much at this early stage and Nadal forces a break point.
Nadal put his return deep and Sinner frames his response. Early advantage for Nadal