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Novak Djokovic and Sascha Zverev Win Through the Hard Way

Roland Garros

June 2, 2024

Novak Djokovic summoned the inner warrior in the early hours of a chilly Parisian night.

Most of the Roland Garros spectators had gone home. But Novak suddenly called upon those remaining to turn up the volume.

He had goaded his own team and manufactured sufficient anger to stay in the fight when all seemed lost.

Lorenzo Musetti had played lights-out tennis to take a 2-1 lead in sets. There seemed to be no stopping a major upset.

‘He has reached his limit,’ one of the Italian’s team could be heard saying in his native language. ‘You can mess him up now.’

But an hour later, Musetti was playing like he just wanted to get to bed and forget about it all.

This was the classic defiance we have seen from Djokovic for so many years.

Novak Djokovic will doubtless demonstrate the same warrior spirit at Wimbledon 2024.

And even those who aren’t so fond of the Serb secretly admire that extraordinary mental strength he shows when all seems lost.

The latest result of that psychological power was an extraordinary overnighter in the French capital. It was 3.08am when victory was secured. It had taken Novak four-and-a-half hours to win 7-5, 6-7 (6-8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-0.

He is still in the hunt for a 25th Grand Slam title to eclipse the legendary Margaret Court of Australia. But how much will this marathon have taken out of the 37-year-old all-time-great?

And how much did Sascha Zverev leave in the tank after his own incredible five-setter against Tallon Griekspoor put him on the brink?

The Dutchman served for the match but couldn’t get over the line. The underdog almost beat himself and Zverev simply stayed more relaxed and gratefully accepted the gifts to win through 3-6, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (10-3).

We shall see what price Djokovic and Zverev have to pay in the long run for their weekend heroics.

Novak Djokovic and Sascha Zverev will be ready for fresh battles at Wimbledon 2024, though. We can be pretty sure of that.

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