Musetti returns to small events with big confidence after Rome heroics

Musetti returns to small events with big confidence after Rome heroics

"I will play with more trust in my weapons and in myself," said the Italian teenager, who upset former Top 5 players Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori last week at the Foro Italico.

Eighteen-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti is going back to playing small ATP Challenger events, but has a much bigger profile following his run at Rome.

The teenager qualified for the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome and defeated both Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori to reach the third round. He has accepted a wild card into the Challenger event in Forli, Italy, which began Monday.

"I will play with more trust in my weapons and in myself, so this is what I'm taking away from this tournament," Musetti told press at Rome.

Ranked No. 458 around this time in 2019, he's projected to break well into the Top 200 of the rankings. A former No. 1 junior, Musetti is a shotmaker and says he has since improved his consistency.

“I always used to be warrior, a fighter, but I had a lot of ups and downs during my last year. Now, this month I tried to maintain calm and to stay positive on court, and it's the best improvement that I had in these few weeks,” Musetti said. “Here in Rome I'm feeling really well. I think I won mentally, because tough points I always played good. So the key was the important points.”


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He now hopes to join the other eight Italians in the ATP Top 100, which includes fellow teen Jannik Sinner. The pair played each other in a pre-qualifying event at Rome last year, and both got wins in the main tournament this year—a rise where each has helped the other, Musetti says.

"Yeah, of course we motivate each other. Also here we push each other to be better and to play better and to be like more professional," he said.

Musetti won the junior event at the 2019 Australian Open.