Mats Wilander believes Novak Djokovic's relentless style of play could have led to Lorenzo Musetti's injury which forced the Italian to withdraw from their fourth-round match at Roland Garros on Monday.
Novak Djokovic found himself trailing by two sets following a subpar display in the first couple of hours. However, the Serb moved through the gears to reel off 16 of the next 17 games before Musetti retired due to an injury with the score at 6-7(7), 6-7(2), 6-1, 6-0, 4-0.
Speaking on Eurosport, seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander suggested that Musetti's physical problems may have been the result of constantly having to chase balls around the court in the first couple of sets.
"Did Novak actually cause it [Musetti's injury] by just running him around so much during the first two sets?" Wilander wondered. "Not worrying about the score and then seemingly just knowing exactly what to do - and then he did it for the rest of the match."
"It was unfortunate, but still a great performance by Musetti," added the Swede. "Obviously he didn't have it [the injury] in the first two sets so at some point Djokovic wore him down and he broke down physically. Both tactically and physically, Djokovic is a Master."
Novak Djokovic committed 12 unforced errors off his forehand in the match and struggled to time his returns on that wing over the first couple of sets. Wilander believes nerves played a part in the Serb's uncharacteristic display.
"Novak was most probably a little bit nervous," continued Wilander. "I think so. It's a big moment playing a youngster. Obviously there is no way Novak would see himself lose to Musetti but (he was) a little passive early on. I think it's the forehand he has problems with when he's nervous."
Lorenzo Musetti looked tired after two sets, it is not easy against Novak Djokovic: Roberta Vinci
Former US Open runner-up Roberta Vinci pointed out that Musetti played "incredibly" in the first two sets and that took its toll on the young Italian.
Vinci believes Musetti is not yet accustomed to playing best-of-five set matches, which is not surprising given this was the teenager's first appearance in the main draw of a Grand Slam.
"Lorenzo played an unbelievable match," Roberta Vinci said. "The first two sets he played incredibly. After that he looked tired and it is not easy against Novak, it is tough. He is not used to playing five sets, so of course he was tired. But I think he is a great player."
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