June 17th, 2024

Novak Djokovic wins his record 370th Slam match but isn’t sure he can continue at the French Open


By Howard Fendrich, The Associated Press on June 3, 2024.

Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus celebrates as she won the fourth round match of the French Open tennis tournament against Emma Navarro of the U.S. at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris, Monday, June 3, 2024. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

PARIS (AP) – Novak Djokovic was not sure whether he would be able to play in the French Open quarterfinals after injuring his right knee and needing anti-inflammatory pills Monday to be able to finish beating No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth round at Roland Garros for his record 370th win in a Grand Slam match.

Djokovic said he has been bothered by the knee for a couple of weeks, but it got worse after he tweaked it early in the second set Monday. He took a medical timeout, then was visited a few other times by a trainer and a doctor, who gave him the medicine that Djokovic said eventually helped him feel better and move without restrictions.

This was the second consecutive five-set comeback victory that lasted about 4 1/2 hours for Djokovic, who is ranked No. 1 and the defending champion in Paris.

He is supposed to meet No. 7 seed Casper Ruud in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. Ruud, who eliminated No. 12 Taylor Fritz in four sets Monday, lost to Djokovic in the French Open final last year and to Rafael Nadal in the 2022 title match.

“Good thing about the Slam is that you have a day between that will allow hopefully the healing process to happen more efficiently for me,” Djokovic said. “That’s it. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow – or after tomorrow, if I’ll be able to step out on the court and play. You know, I hope so. Let’s see what happens.”

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis

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