Italian tennis star Jannik Sinner insisted it wasn't easy playing Lorenzo Musetti as he spoke extremely highly of his fellow compatriot following their clash in Antwerp. Sinner, who had a first round bye in Antwerp, kicked off his campaign at the tournament on Wednesday.
Sinner, ranked at No. 16 in the world, handed a 7-5 6-2 loss to Musetti to progress into the Antwerp quarterfinal. "It's never easy playing against him... We never practise together, so it was kind of a new match," Sinner said in his on-court interview.
"He's an incredible player, very, very young. He's a very great talent, so I hope we will have a couple of more matches on the pro tour, and obviously I'm very happy about my level today."
Sinner aims a strong end to the season
Sinner made a positive start to the season as he won it all at the Great Ocean Road Open in Melbourne.
Sinner ended runner-up at the Miami Masters but claimed titles over the last few months in Washington and Sofia. Sinner is now having his second Antwerp appearance as he made his Antwerp debut in 2019. Back then, Sinner made the semifinal before losing to three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.
Sinner is now aiming to win his fourth title of the season in Sofia and improve his chances of making the Nitto ATP Finals. "In these past two years, some things have changed obviously, but in another way I still have a lot to improve," Sinner said.
"I'm happy to be in the position where I am right now. But [there are] still a couple tournaments to play [this year], and hopefully I can play great tennis." Prior to Antwerp, Sinner played at the Indian Wells Masters.
Sinner was hoping to make a deep run in Indian Wells and potentially win his maiden Masters title but he picked up a surprise round-of-16 defeat to Taylor Fritz.