Novak Djokovic overcomes knee injury to secure thrilling five-set victory at French Open

Djokovic rallies past Francisco Cerundolo to reach the 59th Grand Slam Quarterfinal and awaits further knee scans. UPDATE: Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open due to his knee injury Read more below.
Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicShutterstock


Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the French Open due to a knee injury that troubled him during his fourth-round victory against Francisco Cerúndolo on Monday. The defending champion, aiming for his 25th Grand Slam title at Roland Garros, announced his decision after a medical examination confirmed a medial meniscus tear in his right knee. "I played with my heart and gave my all in yesterday’s match and unfortunately, due to a medial meniscus tear in my right knee, my team and I had to make a tough decision after careful consideration and consultation,” Djokovic shared on Instagram. His withdrawal was also confirmed by tournament organizers via a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. Djokovic’s hard-fought win against Cerúndolo followed another grueling five-set match against Lorenzo Musetti, and while he displayed remarkable resilience, the knee pain ultimately forced his exit from the tournament. Djokovic’s withdrawal allows Norwegian Casper Ruud to advance to the semifinals, and Jannik Sinner, the reigning Australian Open champion, will ascend to the top of the world rankings, marking a historic first for Italy. For more details, refer to CNN's coverage【source: CNN】.

Djokovic’s tenacity to overcome an injury midmatch

PARIS -- Novak Djokovic, battling through pain and injury, showcased his unmatched toughness and rallied to defeat No. 23 Francisco Cerundolo in a gripping five-set match at Roland Garros on Monday morning. Overcoming a knee injury in the fifth set after a nasty tumble on the clay, he recovered with anti-inflammatory medication to secure his place at the French Open quarterfinals with a 6-1, 5-7, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory. This win, his 370th Grand Slam win, breaks a tie with Roger Federer and sets up a high-stakes encounter with No. 7 seed Casper Ruud. 

Early in the second set, Djokovic’s injury worsened and caused significant pain, prompting him to take a medical timeout. The right knee was already a concern for him several weeks before the tournament began, and now it looks as though the knee has gotten worse instead of entirely healing. 

Djokovic’s outlook for a 25th grand slam seemed grim down two sets. The injury hampered his movement throughout the second and third sets, putting him on the brink of a surprising early exit as he trailed 2-4 in the fourth set. But in the last two sets, he pulled away, displaying his resilient play and strategic mastery. He outmaneuvered his opponent with precision and intelligence that reminded everyone why he is still the No. 1 tennis player in the world. 

Battling Through Pain

“I started feeling the pain [in the second set] and asked for the physio treatment and the medical timeout to take care of it,” Djokovic recounted. “It disrupted me in play. For two sets, I didn’t want to stay in there for too long. Every time he would make sudden drops or change directions, I would feel uncomfortable to do the running.”

Novak Djokovic

A Comeback for the Ages

In the face of adversity, Djokovic's determination shone through as he continued to play through the injury that was bothering him. He broke back to level the fourth set at 4-4 and then forced a deciding fifth set in front of a charged-up crowd at Court Philippe-Chatrier, who had been vocal throughout the match. Finding his peak form in the final set in classic Djokovic fashion, he got the job done. 

Record Breaking Journey

Overcoming a break deficit and a fall at 2-1, he triumphed over after four hours and 39 minutes of intense play. The victory moved him to first place for most Grand Slam victories in history. 

Novak Djokovic now holds the most single Grand Slam Match Wins
Novak Djokovic won his 370th Grand Slam Match Monday morning, breaking a tie with Roger Federer.

Soaking in the Triumph

This entire tournament just shows how tough it is to knock off Djokovic. Every time the three-time French Open winner is in trouble or is going against a formidable opponent, he always finds a way to win. His consistency where he can up his level of game is unmatched, especially at major tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals consecutive times and 18 times overall. 

The seven-time Nitto ATP Finals champion is set to face Casper Ruud on Wednesday, June 5, in his next match. As he pursues a record-extending 25th major crown, Djokovic must reach the final to defend his title for his No. 1 PIF ATP rankings. Jannik Sinner, the second seed, is poised to become the 29th player in history to rise to No. 1 if he reaches the title match. 

Despite concerns about his knee, Djokovic seems ready to play in his next match, even though he tested positive for the injury. The 37-year-old will be severely compromised if he intends to play, but he promised his fans he would hold up well after his match. 

“I didn’t feel that the last match has affected me so much that I’m unable to sustain the level I player for over four-and-a-half-hours,” Djokovic explained. “So physically, I’m OK. Thankfully, I was able to recover quickly.

Novak Djokovic

Cerundolo’s Agonizing Defeat

Cerundolo, looking to reach his first major quarter-final, put up a valiant fight. The Argentine struggled in the match's closing stages, misfiring on crucial points to take advantage of Djokovic’s injury. 

Continuous Dominance Year After Year

Novak Djokovic
Novak DjokovicShutterstock

After a compelling narrative of triumph over adversity, Novak Djokovic continues to be spectacular at Roland Garros. His journey this year continues to inspire the younger generations who dream of playing tennis at this level, and his enduring success in staying at the top is truly amazing. 

Become an Insider!  Step into the world of luxury with RESIDENT Magazine. Click here to subscribe to our exclusive newsletter and gain unparalleled access to the latest in luxury lifestyle, high-end real estate, travel exclusives, and so much more.

Are you interested in advertising with Resident? Email us at to learn more.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Resident Magazine