Novak Djokovic - Roland Garros 2024

Novak Djokovic ‘doesn’t know’ if he can play his Roland Garros Quarter-Final

Novak Djokovic has come through back-to-back five set matches at Roland Garros, with there being concerns about the world No.1’s fitness ahead of his quarter-final with Casper Ruud.

Djokovic once again came from two sets to one down, this time beating 23rd seed Francisco Cerundolo 6-1 5-7 3-6 7-5 6-3, in over four-and-a-half-hours.

The final scoreline does not tell the whole story, with Djokovic also having to come from 4-2 down in the fourth set.

This follows Djokovic’s third round match against Lorenzo Musetti, that also lasted over four-and-a-half hours, and finished after 3am.

However, the main talking point after the match concerned Djokovic’s knee, after the Serbian appeared to jar it when slipping in the second set.

Djokovic took various medical timeouts from this point on, receiving treatment and some medication to help ease the pain.

And in his post-match press conference, Djokovic explained how he was feeling throughout the match, “At one point I didn’t know, to be honest, whether I should continue or not with what’s happening. I got the medications, and then after the third set was done, I asked for more medications, and I got them.

“That was the maximum dose that kicked in, as I heard from the doctor after 30 to 45 minutes, which was just about the time [at the] end of the fourth [set] when things started to really improve for me. I started to feel less limitations in my movement. Basically the whole fifth set was almost without any pain, which is great. But then the effect of the medications will not last for too long, so I’ll see. I guess we’ll do some more screening and tests and check-ups tomorrow.”

The 37-year-old added, “We have done some with the doctor right after the match. Some positive news but also maybe some concerns, so let’s see tomorrow. I can’t tell you more about it at the moment. I don’t know what will happen tomorrow, or after tomorrow if I’ll be able to step out on the court and play. You know, I hope so. Let’s see what happens.”

Despite progressing to the quarter-finals of Roland Garros for an 18th time, Djokovic revealed that he does not know if he will play the match against Ruud.

“I mean, today I injured myself. Yes, I survived. I won the match. Great. But will I be able to play the next one? I don’t know,” said Djokovic. “I don’t know the severity of the injury. But could this injury be prevented? Possibly, if, you know, if there was just a little bit more of a frequent care of the court during the set. That’s basically all I ask for.”

Djokovic and Ruud are scheduled to play their quarter-final tomorrow, with the Norwegian winning their most recent meeting at the Monte Carlo Masters.

Inside the baseline…

Understandably most of the conversation surrounding this match is about Novak Djokovic’s potential injury, and having to play back-to-back matches totalling over nine hours. However, it is important to note that this is also Djokovic’s 370th Grand Slam victory, moving ahead of Roger Federer as the player with the most victories at majors in the Open Era. Djokovic has also surpassed Federer as the player with the most Grand Slam quarter-finals in the Open Era with 59, which is truly remarkable. Hopefully Djokovic can recover in time for what is set to be a highly exciting quarter-final with Casper Ruud.

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.