Marco Cecchinato, the unseeded right-handed tennis player from Italy; came, saw and conquered the game on clay and the hearts of a million spectators all over the globe with his spectacular gameplay at the quarter-final match against twelve times grand slam winner Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros yesterday. This gentleman is the first Italian to make an entry into the semifinals at Roland Garros in 40 long years.
Marco Cecchinato, has put in his everything into this game right from the start winning the first two sets 6-3 7-6 (7-4). It seemed like this one perfect day when everything went in Cecchinato’s favour right from his serve to his powerful one-handed backhand return and not to forget the forced bent shot that he played waiting for the ball till the last second with such accuracy and finesse.
He has been a forceful competitor to Djokovic on the clay yesterday, sometimes resembling a silent McEnroe mumbling words to himself and even throwing the racket in the air. He was also penalised for going off the court without permission to change his shoes.
He had gotten loose in the third set giving it away to Djokovic 1-6. That was a time when everyone had thought that he probably had exhausted all his jewels and had nothing left in the tank for surprises. He, however, returned with fresh exuberance in the fourth set, displaying some of the most spectacular shots and quality rallies, Marco Cecchinato clinched the title in the epic fourth set tiebreaker 13-11 to seal the deal.
The fourth set tiebreaker was so far the best of this season and would be talked about in years to come. At 8-7, the rally lasted 20 strokes which were finished by Cecchinato with a swinging volley.
When it was 9-8, an attempted forehand blew off Djokovic’s racket’s frame, and he made a pray-like gesture into the crowd as if “God, not this kind of misses”! Marco Cecchinato kept at it with his brilliant backhand returns speeding out of Djokovic’s reach and perfectly placed drop shots.
Yesterday’s match between Marco Cecchinato and Novak Djokovic has enthralled the audience and would be in the memories of all the spectators and tennis lovers for years to come.
So is Marco Cecchinato, the emerging superstar at The French Open 2018 or, is it yet too early?