02:30 AM GMT April 09, 2021
Lorenzo Musetti may be the youngest player in the Top 100 of the FedEx ATP Rankings, but he showed great composure under pressure to eliminate top seed Daniel Evans 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(8) on Thursday at the Sardegna Open.
The #NextGenATP Italian saved four match points in a final-set tie-break — at 3/6 and 7/8 — to overcome Evans in two hours and 10 minutes. Musetti struck two winners, including a precise forehand drop shot at 5/6, and fired an unreturned serve to save three of the four match points he faced. Musetti converted his second match point with another forehand drop shot winner.
“It was really tough. I was 3/6 down in the tie-break and he was playing good, always going to the net and always aggressive,” said Musetti. “I tried to stay calm and tried to play each point. That is what I did and it worked, so I am really happy and really proud of myself with this win.”
Musetti owns 12 tour-level victories, and seven of those wins have come against Top 35 players. The 19-year-old is one win away from reaching his third ATP Tour semi-final, following his runs to the final four at last year’s Forte Village Sardegna Open and the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in March.
“The secret for me is not to think about [their Top 35 Ranking], to just play them like other opponents,” said Musetti. “I try to play my game… and try to play as good as I can. That is what I did. With them, I always play good. I don’t know why. I have no pressure and I feel free. I have no pressure to win and today was the same.”
The World No. 90, who is competing at a career high in the FedEx ATP Rankings this week, will meet Laslo Djere in the semi-finals. The Serbian broke sixth seed John Millman's serve on four occasions to record a 6-3, 6-3 victory. Djere handed Musetti his only tour-level loss in Sardinia (5-1), when the pair met in the 2020 Forte Village Sardegna Open semi-finals.
In the opening match of the day on Campo Centrale, Yannick Hanfmann saved both break points he faced to beat 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato 7-5, 6-1. The German will face another Italian, Lorenzo Sonego, who defeated Gilles Simon 6-4, 6-1 in one hour and 35 minutes.