Novak Djokovic outlasts Lorenzo Musetti in marathon French Open match which finished just after 3 a.m.

It was a long day at the French Open for world No. 1 Novak Djokovic.

The 24-time major champion outlasted Italian Lorenzo Musetti 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-0 in a third round five-set thriller which ended at 3.08 a.m local time in Paris.

The Serbian, 37, found himself down two sets to one but rallied to beat the 22-year-old in four hours and 29 minutes on Court Philippe-Chatrier, breaking the record for the latest match finish at Roland Garros by almost two hours.

After clinching the match, Djokovic raised his arms in the air as the spectators who stayed until the wee hours gave him an ovation, including his wife, Jelena.

Djokovic thanked fans during an on-court interview for giving him a boost during the crucial fourth set.

“Hard. Will to push, will to win, not to give up, really at one point I was not feeling comfortable on the court at all,” he said.

“He was playing so good. I didn’t know what to do to be honest, I was coming into the net but he was getting every ball back, passing shots, serving well, playing well and making very little unforced errors.

Novak Djokovic praised Lorenzo Musetti for his performance. - Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images
Novak Djokovic praised Lorenzo Musetti for his performance. - Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

“At the beginning of the fourth set I guess that’s where this match was decided. The crowd got behind me and I’m really thankful for that because I needed that, I needed that push, I needed that energy and, of course, super glad to finish with an amazing fifth set.”

The start time was delayed about two hours on a rain-affected day, but officially got underway just after 10:30 p.m. local time.

“I don’t want to get into it. I have my opinions but I think there are great things to talk about in this match today,” said Djokovic of the scheduling, per Reuters.

“Both Lorenzo and my performances stand out so I don’t want to be talking about the schedule. I think some things could have been handled a different way but there’s also a beauty in winning a match (so late).”

The previous tournament record for the latest match was 1:25 a.m. local time, which occurred in 2020 when Rafael Nadal faced Jannik Sinner.

The reigning French Open winner, who leveled Roger Federer on the all-time list with his 369th grand slam victory, will face Argentinian Francisco Cerúndolo in the fourth round on Monday.

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