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Novak Djokovic ignores injury and argues with referee to break Roger Federer’s astonishing record

Injured Novak Djokovic proved why he is the best in the world with a classic French Open victory over Francisco Cerundolo.

A fighting Djokovic fought against his own body to take 23rd-seeded Cerundolo all the way, eventually beating the Argentine 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the fourth round of Roland-Garros, an epic. which will be remembered for years to come.

Djokovic was hampered by injury throughout his match against Cerundolo

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Djokovic was hampered by injury throughout his match against Cerundolo

This saw him break Roger Federer’s legendary record of winning the most Grand Slam matches in men’s tennis, recording his 370th victory in the process.

But he had to work hard to achieve it after blitzing the first set, and problems began to arise for Djokovic as he appeared to be in agony, even screaming in pain on the Philippe Chatrier court.

The world number one punched officials to the ground and insisted the court was too slippery, leading to an injury, but officials refrained from asking him to sweep the clay.

This led to Djokovic requiring significant treatment on his knee, which was perhaps made worse by a grueling second set that ended 7-5 in favor of Cerundolo.

On the court side, doctors tended to the 24-time Grand Slam winner, treating his injured leg before his return to action.

The Argentine then appeared to take advantage of this momentum and won the third set 6-3 as Djokovic continued to complain about the conditions.

Overflowing with frustration, Djokovic lashed out at the chair umpire and the microphones even caught him telling the umpire: “You screwed up my knee.”

The 37-year-old was forced to play until 3 a.m. in a brutal third-round match on Saturday against Lorenzo Musetti, who ultimately finished 7-5, 6-7(6-8), 2- 6, 6-3, 6. -0.

Djokovic put on another determined display to beat his opponent by coming from behind

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Djokovic put on another determined display to beat his opponent by coming from behindCredit: AFP
Djokovic needed medical attention midway through the fourth round

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Djokovic needed medical attention midway through the fourth round

And it showed as the fourth round entered its fourth hour with Djokovic limping around the court.

Needing to win the fourth set, Djokovic summoned every ounce left in his body to push Cerundolo all the way, eventually winning the set 7-5 with impressive courage.

Even given the tennis legend’s prowess, leveling sets in this manner was completely against the odds considering he almost looked down the moment Cerundolo took advantage of his knee pain.

Those injury concerns seemed to disappear as the match moved into its fifth set, especially in the eighth game when Djokovic fought back from 40-0 down to win and make the set 5-3.

This seemed to knock out the brilliant Cerundolo, who had arguably put in the best performance of his career, as Djokovic went on to win the set and the match – four hours and 39 minutes after the start.

While he had problems with the crowd at Roland Garros earlier in the tournament, this time they were fully with him chanting his name.

And he thanked the fans who watched him on the Philippe Chatrier, a change of tone given the problems the tournament had in previous rounds.

Speaking in French, Djokovic said: “Once again I will speak in French because I have to say a big thank you because once again, like in my last match, the victory is for you and helped by you ( the crowd).

Djokovic once again defied the odds and won the gratitude of fans at Roland Garros

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Djokovic once again defied the odds and won the gratitude of fans at Roland Garros
Cerundolo was applauded by Djokovic and fans after a brilliant performance

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Cerundolo was applauded by Djokovic and fans after a brilliant performanceCredit: Getty

“The last match I was down two sets to one and in the fourth set you gave me so much energy and tonight also you did the same thing. Really, thank you, what can I say?

“Three or four times I was within a few points of losing this match and thank you to my opponent. He deserves so much applause, that’s for sure. I don’t know how I won this match again.

“Thank you for your support.”

No one could take their eyes off this match, and credit also goes to Cerundolo for serving up a French Open classic.

Ultimately, few would have expected the world number 25 to go far against Djokovic, but the 25-year-old proved he has a big future ahead of him.

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