Musetti shocks Wawrinka

Lorenzo Musetti showed the world what a talent he is on Tuesday night under the lights on Court Centrale at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, producing a breath-taking display of tennis to stun Stan Wawrinka 6-0 7-6(2).

The Italian qualifier, who won the 2019 Junior Australian Open, was in impressive form from the outset, winning the first eight games of the match to bagel the three-time Grand Slam champion and put himself a set and a break up in half an hour.

Musetti’s booming serve, explosive one-handed backhand and variety of shots had left Wawrinka with no answers but the Swiss former world No.3 raised his level and managed to peg him back for 3-3. The 18-year-old world No.249 didn’t panic however, remaining calm and showing maturity beyond his years to remain on level terms and take the second set to a tiebreak.

More audacious shots followed in the tiebreak but Musetti, who is the youngest player in the draw while Wawrinka is the oldest, remained unfazed by the occasion and the position he found himself in, ripping a cross-court forehand passing shot on match point to seal his first ATP victory in 84 minutes.

“I didn’t expect this win, but I think I deserve it because I played really good tennis and I enjoyed all the points of this match. Yeah, when I was young I used to come to see, like, champions like Rafa, Federer, like Wawrinka. Also with my family and my friends here. So I think it’s a dream that comes true, and, I mean, I’m still not believing on what I did tonight, so I just accept that and let’s see in the next days,” said Musetti.

“I just like focus on the game and, I mean, I was one set up and with a break, and he try to play better. He was serving better at the end. So I just like trying to keep my serve, and then at the tiebreak I was really brave and, I mean, I enjoyed a lot play in this beautiful stadium. So nothing. I’m really calm, like I don’t know why, but I was calm also before the match. I think that’s the key of my victory.”

Up next for Musetti will be another tricky opponent in world No.4 Kei Nishikori.