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The Pick: Lorenzo Musetti vs. Sebastian Korda, ATP Lyon second round
Who has the edge in this first battle between two of the ATP Tour's most promising talents?
Published May 18, 2021
Sebastian Korda snapped a four-match losing streak on Monday with a 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory over Pierre-Hugues Herbert. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win the American sorely needed to regain his confidence heading into Roland Garros. Next up for the American, fellow Next Gen talent Lorenzo Musetti, who is sure to provide a tougher test on clay than the Frenchman. Musetti upset Felix Auger-Aliassime on Tuesday, 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5.
Korda and Musetti have never played before, but have long been two of the most highly touted junior players, and are very aware of the stakes ahead of their Lyon encounter.
“It’s going to be really tough, he’s one of the best Next Gen ATP right now,” Musetti said. “He is a fighter, so I will try and do my best to get into the quarterfinals.”
Though Korda was not reared on red clay like Musetti, he insists that he doesn’t have a favorite surface. “I can adapt pretty well to whatever surface I’m playing on.”
This was quite apparent during his unexpected run to the French Open fourth round last fall, but according to the oddsmakers, Musetti remains a solid -186 favorite and projected to win by 2.5 games.
Korda’s rock-solid game will meet a worthy adversary, as Musetti can employ some classic Italian flair.
Whether it’s blistering backhands or jaw-dropping touch, Musetti has proven to be one of the game’s premier shotmakers.
Musetti hits high and heavy, which won’t trouble the 6’5” Korda, who loves taking his backhand at near-shoulder height, and can finish points with his forehand, as well.
But still, there is no substitute for a lifetime of learning to play your best tennis on red clay. Perhaps Korda found his footing again, but picking an Italian over an American on clay is typically a safe bet.
The Pick: Lorenzo Musetti