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Injured Djokovic battles back to win French Open quarter-final

An injured Novak Djokovic sealed a 15th consecutive French Open quarter-final with a thrilling comeback victory over Argentinian Francisco Cerundolo in the fourth round on Monday, while Daniil Medvedev became the highest seed to crash out at Roland Garros so far.

In the women's draw, both Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina comfortably powered into the last eight.

A limping Djokovic looked to be heading for a shock defeat when 2-1 down in sets and 4-2 behind in the fourth set, but battled back from the brink to delight the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd by winning 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 after four hours and 39 minutes.

"I was maybe three or four points away from losing this match," the reigning champion said. "I'm not sure how I won this match."

Djokovic narrowly avoided his earliest exit from the tournament since 2009, teeing up a rematch of last year's final against Casper Ruud, who beat Taylor Fritz in four sets.

However, he said he was not yet 100 percent sure he would be fit enough to play on Wednesday.

"I don't know what will happen tomorrow or after tomorrow if I'll be able to step out on the court and play. I hope so. Let's see what happens," he said, before blaming the right knee injury he sustained on unusually slippery courts.

"Could this injury have been prevented? Possibly," added Djokovic, who said he asked for the court to be swept more frequently.

Djokovic had reached the last 16 by defeating Italy's Lorenzo Musetti in another bruising five-set encounter which concluded at 3:07 a.m. Sunday.

Cerundolo grabbed the second set by finally taking a break point after 12 previous misses.

(AFP)


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