World No. 1 Novak Djokovic admitted to feeling nervous at the beginning of the match against Lorenzo Musetti.
Djokovic, seeded at No. 1, was up 6-7 (7) 6-7 (2) 6-1 6-0 4-0 when the Italian decided to retire due to cramps.
“I felt more nervous when the match started than at two sets down. I lost them but I played under a certain kind of tension and made too many unforced errors. Not playing and feeling great, and credit to him for playing well. I was a different player after,” Djokovic said after the match, per Tennis Majors.
“From the third set, I played like I should have played at the beginning. Then I saw he was struggling physically.”
Djokovic wishes Musetti all the best
“I like to play young guys in best of five because even at two sets down, I feel I still have my chances. I feel physically fit, I won most of my five-setters, that experienced helps. It’s unfortunate for him to have to retire,” Djokovic added.
“At the beginning of my career also I had to retire from some matches. It’s not funny, not something you want to experience as a young player.
“The experience is the best teacher. I wish Musetti all the best. We know each other quite a well, he’s a nice guy. If he keeps going on this way, he will become a top player some day, he has everything.”
After losing the first two sets, Djokovic regrouped and absolutely dominated the rest of the match to avoid a shock loss.
“5 sets, it’s a mix between emotions and the pressure of a first time on a big court. It can boost you, because you have nothing to lose, but I can take away a lot. You’re still developing your abilities to cope with this kind of pressure,” Djokovic said.