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Djokovic to play ‘future of tennis’ Musetti in French Open last 16

Novak Djokovic made the last 16 of the French Open for the 12th time in a row

Novak Djokovic cruised into the French Open last 16 for the 12th consecutive year with a 6-1, 6-4, 6-1 victory over Lithuania’s 93rd-ranked Ricardas Berankis on Saturday.

The world number one will take on Italian 19-year-old and Grand Slam debutant Lorenzo Musetti for a place in the quarter-finals.

“He’s young and plays with lots of spin and power. He has nothing to lose so I need to be ready for this challenge,” Djokovic said of a first meeting with Musetti.

Djokovic is bidding to be the first man in more than half a century to win all four majors on multiple occasions.

Musetti became just the sixth man since 2000 to make the fourth round of a major on his debut, overcoming 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato in five sets.

“We practised a lot with Djokovic together, so we know each other a little bit,” said Musetti, ranked 76.

“For sure there is going to be a little bit of tension, but I think it’s what I’m working for since my childhood. All the sacrifice and hard work I did in the childhood became reality now.

“So I’m just enjoying the moment and I will try to do my best.

With Musetti and compatriot Jannik Sinner, also 19, advancing to the last 16, it is the first men’s French Open to feature two teenagers at this stage since 2006, when Djokovic and Gael Monfils reached the second week.

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“Me and Jannik, I think we are the future of Italian tennis, and of tennis in general,” said Musetti.

“He’s a bit (more advanced) than me. I’m just living what he was living like last year, so we are growing up together.”

“I think we will have a lot of time together in the future,” he added.

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