Novak Djokovic came through a five-set epic against Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti at the French Open, which ended at 03:07 local time in Paris.

In a third-round contest that did not get under way until 22:37 on Saturday, towards the end of a rain-affected day at Roland Garros, the defending champion fought back from two sets to one down to win 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 2-6 6-3 6-0.

The 37-year-old from Serbia appeared to be on the brink of exiting the tournament at the hands of an inspired Musetti, the 30th seed.

But a rejuvenated Djokovic found fresh momentum midway through the fourth set, reeling off six consecutive breaks of serve to force – and then ease to victory in – a decider.

Unsurprisingly, given the nature of their late-night battle, there was a warm embrace between the pair at the conclusion of the match and Djokovic joined the Court Philippe Chatrier crowd in applauding his 22-year-old opponent from the Paris clay.

Victory in four hours and 29 minutes continued the world number one’s bid for a fourth French Open crown and he will play 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in the last 16.



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