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2024 French Open Matchup Preview: Lorenzo Musetti vs. Novak Djokovic

June 1, 2024


Defending champion Novak Djokovic continues his French Open campaign when he is set to face Lorenzo Musetti of Italy in the third-round.

The winner of this match will play either 14th seed Tommy Paul of the United States or No. 23 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina in the fourth round.

The Serb veteran already defeated Musetti at the Monte Carlo Masters earlier this year, thus claiming his fourth victory over the Italian.

All in all, Djokovic leads 4-1. Typically, he dictates the terms in most matches, but this clash feels different, with Lorenzo Musetti likely to play a bigger role in determining the outcome. If Musetti remains composed and overperforms at his peak level, he could possibly challenge the current world No. 1. However, even if Musetti performs slightly below his best, Djokovic still possesses enough skill to exploit the Italian's mistakes.

In fact, Musetti's first-ever match against Djokovic was at the French Open three years ago, when the Serb came back from two sets down and the Italian was forced to retire during the fifth set.

 

Novak Djokovic Betting Preview (-575 at MyBookie)

In the second round, the Serb showed a significant improvement following his opening round win over French wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert, though it wasn't the best match to gauge his current form accurately. His opponent, Roberto Carballes Baena, didn't really possess the tools to challenge top-tier players. Despite some early difficulties during the first set, Djokovic found his stride from the second set onwards, eventually securing a comfortable 6-4, 6-1, 6-2 victory under the closed roof at Court Philippe-Chatrier.

This year, the Djoker's overall performance, including in the build events, hasn't met the high standards he has set over the years. He downplays these performances, attributing them to a lack of motivation to excel in smaller tournaments at this stage of his career. His primary focus remains on excelling in Grand Slam tournaments and, of course, the Paris Olympics.

"It's true that I'm focused pretty much solely on Grand Slams and Olympics this year, and playing for my country, really. That's something that really drives me the most today. But yeah, it is becoming a little bit more challenging for me to push myself every single tournament to be really at the top." - Djokovic, who recently celebrated his 37th birthday, stated.

Fans really wish Novak Djokovic's focus on the Grand Slams translates into an improved performance. The 37-year-old will certainly need to be at his best against Musetti, who has proven to be a challenging opponent in the past. As mentioned above, the Italian earned an impressive two-set lead against Djokovic in the 2021 French Open round of 16 and also posed significant challenges at the Monte Carlo Masters in April, before losing his composure and eventually the match in straight sets.

 

Lorenzo Musetti Betting Preview (+380 at MyBookie)

Lorenzo Musetti's campaign has been underwhelming, but the 22-year-old seems to have regained some form and confidence just in time for his showdown with the world number one. The Italian convincingly defeated clay specialist Daniel Elahi Galan and local favorite Gael Monfils in straight sets in the opening two rounds at Roland Garros.

At the French Open, Musetti has consistently faced tough opponents, leading to early exits despite solid performances. His three previous losses at Roland Garros came against elite players: Novak Djokovic (in five sets), Stefanos Tsitsipas (in five sets, in the first round), and Carlos Alcaraz (losing in straight sets last year).

Despite his talent and ability to play great tennis on certain days, Musetti often struggles to bring his best in big matches. He has just two wins in 17 matches against top-5 players throughout his career. However, one of those wins was against Djokovic on clay at the Monte Carlo Masters in 2023, where he made a remarkable comeback from a set and a break down to stun the Serbian - a feat only a few have achieved.

 

Spooky Express Betting Prediction

Djokovic remains the undisputed favorite to go through, but Musetti has never been an easy match, especially on clay-courts.

Spooky Express Free Play: Over 3.5 Sets -118 at MyBookie for 6/10 Units