Lorenzo Musetti brandished his reputation as a next-generation star by taking down Japan’s Kei Nishikori in a shocking straight sets at the Italian Open.
The 18-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti declared a great defeat over three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka, a former number three, in two sets on Tuesday in only his second Tour level match.
Musetti proved it was a simple walk in the park when he effortlessly defeated former world number four and 2014 US Open finalist Nishiroki 6-3 6-4 to move into the last 16 of the ATP masters 1000 event in Rome.
“I always used to be a warrior, a fighter, but I had a lot of ups and downs during the past year,” said Lorenzo Musetti, who won the Australian Open in 2019 as a junior before turning professional the same year.
The Italian Musetti ranked 249, and needed a wildcard in order to compete in the Italian Open qualifiers and will then meet German Dominik Koepfer, who beat Frenchman Gael Monfils, for a possible quarter-final meeting against world number one Novak Djokovic.
“This month I tried to keep calm and stay positive on court, and I think it’s my best improvement in the past few weeks. Here in Rome, I’m feeling really well,” Musetti told reporters.
“Even today, I think I won mentally, because I played well on the tough points. I think the key was this, the important points.”
Japan’s Kei Nishikori made a return to the circuit this month after sitting out for a year from an injury and sees fit to participate in more matches in order to reclaim his best title belts.
Although the two-time French Open quarter-finalist, had words of praise for his young opponent.
“He’s a good player, I think, especially on clay,” said Kei Nishikori.
“I don’t know how he’s going to play on hard (courts), but for sure he’s going to have a lot of power on clay, good backhand too, good serve. He can come in well. He can do pretty much everything. That’s, I think, a big weapon for him.”
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Accredited To Fati Peu