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.
If you use the quotes from this content, you legally agree to give www.brila.net the News credit as the source and a backlink to our story. Copyright 2020 Brila Media.