07:30 PM GMT May 10, 2021
"It's going to be the first time playing against him," the Italian wild card said. "I just know that he serves so good and he's so tall. I will try to return as best as I can and try to focus on my service game."
Against Hurkacz on Monday, Musetti saved 2/2 break points and hit 13 winners to just two errors in the first set. He was leading 6-4, 2-0 when Hurkacz was forced to stop.
Just 19 years old, Musetti made huge waves in Rome last year when he reached the third round as a qualifier with wins over Kei Nishikori and Stan Wawrinka. He followed up the breakthrough week with his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Forli and his first ATP Tour semi-final in Sardinia. The teenager has appeared in nine ATP Tour events, five of which have been in Italy where he's 11-4.
"It's always incredible playing here in Rome," Musetti said. "It's a fantastic site here in Foro Italico. Even without a crowd, tonight was really fun."
The #NextGenATP star has had continued success this year with a third round appearance in Miami and a semi-final run in Acapulco that saw him pick up his first Top 10 win (Diego Schwartzman). He enters this week at a career-high No. 82 in the FedEx ATP Rankings.
Opelka snapped a six-match losing streak by beating Richard Gasquet 6-1, 7-5 for his first win since the Australian Open in February. The American hit 18 aces and faced zero break points in the 66-minute victory.