Italian teenager Musetti stuns Wawrinka in Rome

Rome, September 16

Local teenager Lorenzo Musetti shocked Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6 (2) within the first spherical of the Italian Open for a memorable first win on tour.

Out-hitting Wawrinka’s famed backhand with a one-handed model of his personal, the 18-year-old qualifier moved the three-time Grand Slam champion from nook to nook and displayed an all-court sport that belied his years.

Musetti turned the primary participant born in 2002 to win on the ATP tour—after fellow Italian Jannik Sinner achieved the feat final 12 months for gamers born in 2001.

Wawrinka, who selected to not journey to the US Open, appeared rusty and dedicated a collection of errors early on.

“In the first set and the beginning of the second there was no match,” mentioned Musetti, who received the primary eight video games.

As the match wore on, although, and Wawrinka started to place up extra of a struggle, Musetti continued hitting winners and delicate drop volleys. He even had extra aces than the hard-serving Wawrinka—5 to a few.

“I kept thinking, ‘I’m up a set and a break against Wawrinka and he’s starting to click now,’” mentioned the 249th-ranked Musetti, who wanted a wild card to get into the qualifying event.

“Everything was in place for me to fail. But I’ve been engaged on the psychological side of the sport probably the most, and I’ve improved so much over the past month.

“To get win my first match here in Rome—unfortunately without fans—I don’t have words to describe it,” he added.

Musetti, who got here by qualifying, was the runner-up within the 2018 US Open junior ultimate then received the Australian Open junior title in 2019.

He’s considered one of a file eight Italians to have reached the second spherical in Rome.

Roman-born Matteo Berrettini, a US Open semifinalist final 12 months, is seeded No. Four this week. And Marco Cecchinato, the 2018 French Open semifinalist, defeated Kyle Edmund 3-6, 7-6 (7), 6-2, to finish a seven-match dropping streak.

Wild-card entry Salvatore Caruso, one other Italian, defeated American qualifier Tennys Sandgren 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4) and can now face Novak Djokovic within the top-ranked Serb’s first match since being defaulted from the U.S. Open.

Caruso saved a match level late within the third set earlier than closing it out after almost three hours on a steamy 32 diploma Celsius (90 diploma F) day.

The top-ranked Djokovic, who had a first-round bye, mentioned Monday that he discovered “a big lesson” after he was thrown out of the event in New York for unintentionally hitting a line decide within the throat with a ball.

Djokovic beat Caruso in straight units of their solely profession assembly within the third spherical of final 12 months’s French Open.

Musetti subsequent faces Kei Nishikori, who’s getting back from proper elbow surgical procedure and missed the US Open after testing optimistic for COVID-19.

“I’m not afraid of anyone,” Musetti mentioned.

“I’m just having fun.” In different matches on Rome’s crimson clay, U.S. Open quarterfinalists Andrey Rublev and Denis Shapovalov each received in straight units.

Rublev eradicated Argentine qualifier Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-4; then Shapovalov was much more environment friendly in a 6-2, 6-Four victory over Guido Pella.

Alex de Minaur — one other U.S. Open quarterfinalist — was tentative and wasted quite a few probabilities in a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (6) loss to German qualifier Diminik Koepfer.

Also, Argentine qualifier Federico Coria, the youthful brother of 2005 Rome runner-up Guillermo Coria, beat Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 7-6 (5). Coria will subsequent face native favourite Matteo Berrettini, the No. Four seed.

In the ladies’s event, Katerina Siniakova rolled previous three-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber 6-3, 6-1; and final 12 months’s French Open finalist, Markéta Vondroušová, held off a comeback from Japanese qualifier Misaki Doi to win 6-1, 4-6, 6-4.

Also, Coco Gauff received her first Tour-level match on clay, sliding into her photographs like a veteran in beating 34th-ranked Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-3.

But the 16-year-old American additionally hit three consecutive double-faults handy again an early break within the second set earlier than regaining her composure to seal the victory in 1 hour, 21 minutes.

Gauff mentioned she had good outcomes on clay as a junior and famous that she spends plenty of time on the floor on the French academy run by Patrick Mouratoglu, Serena Williams’ coach.

“I’ve been going there since I was 10,” Gauff mentioned.

“So I’m quite used to the red clay.” Gauff’s subsequent opponent shall be former French Open and Wimbledon champion Garbiñe Muguruza, who beat Sloane Stephens 6-3, 6-Three in a match that was interrupted for greater than an hour between units because of rain. — AP

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