08:45 PM GMT June 03, 2021
Sinner and Musetti currently sit first and fourth respectively in the ATP Race To Milan with the world’s top seven 21-and-under singles players of the ATP Tour season, along with one Italian wild card, competing in Italy in November.
After reaching his first ATP Masters 1000 final in April at the Miami Open presented by Itau (l. to Hurkacz), Sinner broke into the Top 20 of the FedEx ATP Rankings for the first time at No. 19. The 19-year-old has further showcased his abilities in Paris, saving a match point to fight through against Pierre-Hugues Herbert before defeating compatriot Gianluca Mager 6-1, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3. The 2019 NextGen ATP Finals champion and 2020 Roland Garros quarter-finalist faces Mikael Ymer next.
Meanwhile, Musetti has yet to drop a set this week in his first Grand Slam. The Italian has demonstrated flair and agility on the clay, defeating 13th seed David Goffin in the first round and Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round with 2018 Roland Garros semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato the 19-year-old’s next opponent.
The World. No. 76 was outside the Top 250 of the FedEx ATP Rankings just nine months ago. However, two ATP Tour semi-final appearances at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco and at the recent Open Parc Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Lyon (l. to Tsitsipas both times) have helped him rise quickly.
With both Italians bidding to become the first Italian men to qualify for the tournament on merit, with Sinner claiming the crown in 2019 as a wild card, they have further strengthened their claims for a spot in Milan on the Parisian clay.
On Alcaraz’s main draw debut in Paris, the qualifier eased past 28th seed Nikoloz Basilashvili in straight sets in round two after defeating Bernabe Zapata Miralles in his opener. The talented teenager, who sits sixth in the ATP Race To Milan, now plays Jan-Lennard Struff on Saturday. It will be a tough test for Alcaraz as the German impressively beat seventh seed Andrey Rublev on Tuesday before overcoming Facundo Bagnis.