Lorenzo Musetti: "Matteo Berrettini inspires us"



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Lorenzo Musetti: "Matteo Berrettini inspires us"

One of the players who’s at the forefront when the subject of the contemporary renaissance of Italian tennis crops up is Lorenzo Musetti. At the 2021 Dubai Open, Musetti’s colleague, compatriot and the fellow helmer of the country’s brighter tennis prospects, Jannik Sinner described him as “a big, big talent”.

A few months later, living up to this billing, Musetti first made it through to the second week of a Major – reaching the fourth round of the French Open, where he led eventual champion, Novak Djokovic, by two sets to love before the latter turned the match around.

Then, he reached a new career-high of no. 57 in the rankings, coming close to breaking into the top-50 for the first time. Coming off on these highs, however, the 19-year-old didn’t have an ideal start to the 2022 season, losing his first-round matches in the first two events he played, Adelaide and the Australian Open.

But at the Tata Open Maharashtra, Musetti seems to have turned his fortunes around, winning his opening round against Australian Aleksandar Vukic, to reach his first quarter-final this season. In his post-match presser, replying to a question from TennisWorld USA, regarding the aspects of his game his team and he, have been working upon, Musetti said, “I worked a lot on serve and return, especially on the ad court”.

Then, tying it back to his match against Vukic, who he admitted was “serving really big”, he added, “I think today I showed it [serve and return]. I returned pretty good and served pretty good, especially [at] the end of the match.

Because it was really close and [in the] last game, I hit two aces and two first serves”.

Lorenzo Musetti on maturing as a player

Beyond his immediate results though, for Musetti, is being able to come up with a performance that’s bolstered by the confidence he’s within himself.

“When you feel confident, you understand really how you can play and that’s what I’m working for. And I’m really happy to see the results inside the match”. Having said this, Musetti also knows that it’s not always possible that the results will be in his favour on the court.

And this, as he told TennisWorld USA, in his pre-tournament press conference is one of the lessons he’s keen on absorbing. “[I want to] try to make experience… some moments [I] have wins, [some moments] loss, [I want to] accept that.

[I’m] trying to make experience. [I’m] trying to learn”. For Musetti, seeing his peers and compatriots prosper on the tour’s also a way of learning and drawing inspiration. “Italian tennis, I think, is [in] one of the top spots for sure, now, in Italy and maybe in the world.

We are really playing great,” the Carrara native said. “Matteo [Berrettini], Jannik, [Lorenzo] Sonego, Fabio [Fognini] are still there. When you’ve to play us in the second week of a Slam, like almost every single Slam now, I think, it’s a really good thing for Italian tennis but also for Italian tennis and also for everyone.

Of course, Matteo’s doing something unbelievable and he inspires us,” he added, referring to Berrettini making it to the semi-finals of the 2022 Australian Open. Apart from getting inspired still, there’s also a small matter of keeping a friendly rivalry going among the countrymen.

Thus, cue Musetti’s banter, “[So], we try to go as far as we can and try to catch him [Berrettini] back,” that put into perspective what he feels he needs to do to make further inroads competitively. Photo Credit: Tata Open Maharashtra