Coming into just his second Tour-level match, Lorenzo Musetti did not expect to beat three-time Grand Slam winner Stanislas Wawrinka at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome on Tuesday, but the teenager said that he fully deserved his stunning 6-0, 7-6 (7/2) victory.
A straight-sets loss to Andrey Rublev in Dubai in February was Musetti’s only Tour-level appearance before the claycourt matchup against Wawrinka, who counts the French Open among his three major titles.
“I think it’s a dream that came true. I’m still not believing what I did tonight,” Musetti said, adding that he used to visit the Foro Italico complex in Rome with his friends to watch the likes of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Wawrinka play.
“I didn’t expect this win, but I think I deserved it. I played really good tennis,” he said.
As a junior, the Italian finished runner-up at the 2018 US Open and won the Australian Open last year, the same year he turned professional.
The 18-year-old, ranked 249, needed a wildcard to play the qualifiers in the Masters 1000 tournament and was getting close to matching his career earnings of US$70,000 from just one event.
“I don’t know how many points I got, how much money,” Musetti told reporters.
“I just enjoyed the match and I had a lot of fun tonight,” he added.
“We worked a lot this month. I think I did one step of maturation of my game and my mentality,” he said.
Musetti’s single-handed backhand was also a match for Wawrinka, who skipped the US Open and the Western & Southern Open in New York and played challenger events on clay to prepare for this month’s French Open in Paris.
“Stan has an incredible backhand, incredible serve, a lot of power,” Musetti said. “I think I just managed my weapons the best tonight. At the end, it was incredible.”
Winners in the men’s singles round of 64 on Tuesday were Andrey Rublev, John Millman, Federico Coria, Dominik Koepfer, Pedro Martinez, Dusan Lajovic, Denis Shapovalov, Salvatore Caruso, Yoshihito Nishioka, Marco Cecchinato and Milos Raonic.
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