An 18-year Italian Lorenzo Musetti is through to his first ATP semi-final at Forte Village Sardegna Open in Sardinia, beating Yannick Hanfmann 6-2, 6-4 in an hour and 31 minutes. A teenager is the first player born in 2002 with an ATP semi-final, dominating the German in the crucial moments to remain on the title course.
Musetti repelled nine out of 11 break chances, stealing half of the return points to conquer five breaks and control the scoreboard after a slow start of set number two. Lorenzo made a perfect start, earning a break in the first game when Yannick sprayed a forehand error, cementing the advantage with a service winner that sent him 2-0 in front.
Struggling to find the rhythm, Hanfmann got broken again in the third game, wasting a break chance in the next following a forehand winner from Musetti. The youngster closed the game with a service winner, opening a 4-0 gap and holding with another powerful serve in game six to move 5-1 in front.
Lorenzo held after deuce at 5-2 to wrap up the opener in 37 minutes. Hanfmann brought the first game of the second set home and grabbed a break to forge the advantage, producing another hold at 15 to move 3-0 ahead. The German caught a break with a forehand winner to extend the lead, looking good to win the set and force a decider.
Musetti pulled one break back in game five, saved a break point in the next one and survived all the challenges at 2-4 to erase the second break and return to the positive side of the scoreboard. With the momentum on his side, Lorenzo held at love in game nine to move in front, sealing the deal with a service winner at 5-4 to advance into the semis.
Playing only one ATP match before this week, Danilo Petrovic is through to the semi-final as a lucky loser, beating Federico Delbonis 7-6, 6-1 in an hour and 33 minutes.
Lorenzo Musetti is the first player born in 2002 in an ATP semi-final.
The Serb saved 11 out of 12 break points, earning three breaks from as many chances to seal the deal in style in set number two.
Marco Cecchinato is the second Italian with a wild card who will compete in the semis, ousting the 4th seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in two hours and 12 minutes. The Spaniard fended off seven out of eight break points in the opener to prevail, losing ground after that and allowing Cecchinato to dominate on both serve and return in sets two and three for the place in the semis.
Laslo Djere needed an hour and 23 minutes to beat Jiri Vesely 6-4, 6-4, never facing a break point and securing one break in each set to remain on the title course.