3 talking points from Novak Djokovic's comeback victory against Lorenzo Musetti as Serb survives huge scare

Novak Djokovic falls while returning
Novak Djokovic falls while returning

Novak Djokovic battled back from two sets down to defeat teenager Lorenzo Musetti and march into the quarterfinals at Roland Garros 2021 on Monday.

Djokovic survived a huge test from the young Italian, who was forced to retire due while trailing 4-0 in the fifth set.

Musetti looked poised to pull off a huge upset when he stormed to a two-sets-to-love lead against the former French Open champion with some dynamic shotmaking. The Italian's backhand, in particular, caused huge problems for the Serb, who was far from his best for most of the contest.

But Musetti's level dipped massively after the second set and Novak Djokovic upped his game by several notches to stay alive at Roland Garros.

On that note, here's a look at three key takeaways from Djokovic's win:

#1 Novak Djokovic can turn things around in an instant

Novak Djokovic has the uncanny ability to turn matches around from any position. While Musetti's injury may have made things easier for the Serb, the fact that he leveled the match in the space of just 46 minutes is nothing short of awe-inspiring.

Lorenzo Musetti took two hours and 21 minutes to win the first two sets. Novak Djokovic won the third set in 24 minutes and the fourth in 22 minutes to completely turn the tide in his favor.

The Italian, who won a total of 85 points in the first two sets, was allowed just 18 in the next three.

#2 Novak Djokovic needs to hit with more power if he hopes to beat Rafael Nadal

Novak Djokovic could face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals
Novak Djokovic could face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals

With his win over Musetti, Novak Djokovic booked a quarterfinal clash with Matteo Berrettini. Should he beat the Italian, Djokovic will most likely face Rafael Nadal for a spot in the final.

Nadal's defense is almost impenetrable on clay. To breach it, players need to strike the ball hard and accurately. While Novak Djokovic can be exceptionally accurate, his groundstrokes against Musetti often lacked pace.

Whenever Djokovic was required to generate his own power against the Italian, he struggled. Pushing the ball against Nadal will only spell doom for the World No. 1. That said, the Serb can be expected to significantly raise his level against the Spaniard, as he usually does against his biggest rivals.

#3 Musetti troubled Djokovic, but the Serb is unlikely to face the same problems against Berrettini

Lorenzo Musetti's kick serve and slow returns caused major problems for Novak Djokovic, but the World No. 1 is unlikely to have similar issues against Matteo Berrettini.

Berrettini strikes the ball exceptionally hard from the back of the court and serves with a lot of power. This could play into Novak Djokovic's hands as he is an expert at redirecting pace.

Berrettini's power will not only allow Djokovic to hit more winners but will also mean that he has to expend less energy when striking the ball.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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