Novak Djokovic digs deep to battle past plucky Diego Schwartzman to reach French Open round four

Novak Djokovic digs deep to battle past plucky Diego Schwartzman to reach French Open round four

Novak Djokovic survived a real scare against Diego Schwartzman as he fought his way back from a set down twice and battled into the last-16 of the French Open, with a 5-7 6-3 3-6 6-1 6-1 win.

The world No. 2 was not at his best for large periods of the match but found mental resilience when he needed it most to find a path to the fourth round.

Djokovic will no doubt have caught some of Rafael Nadal’s one-sided encounter with Nikoloz Basilashvili – which preceded his match on Philippe-Chatrier – but his own hopes of an easy afternoon’s work were not to come to fruition.


Argentina’s Schwartzman, sporting the old school backwards cap look, proved a menace throughout and the clay-court specialist forced Djokovic to dig incredibly deep as they moved through several punishing rallies.

The Serb’s temperament was pushed to the limit, with the 12-time Grand Slam champion arguing with the umpire at one stage for a warning he deemed to be unfair – a common theme in the last few months.

But he ultimately found a way through and will be relieved to survive another day.

An early break from Djokovic got things off to a good start, with the Serb making the Argentine work hard for every point on his own serve.

At 4-1 up, few would have backed the Argentine to take the opener but Djokovic’s level dropped off a cliff and the belief grew within Schwartzman and he secured two breaks on his way to a 7-5 success.

The world No. 2 seemed unfazed at his first-set loss and began serving well in the second to draw level.

In the third, the pair both kept steady on serve until Schwartzman snatched a break at the death before moving into a 2-1 lead.

By Metro

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