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Musetti Debut In Rome One of ATP’s Finest

Lorenzo Musetti knows how to make a grand first impression. This week he engineered one of the finest career debuts, recording two headline-making triumphs in Rome, besting not one but two modern era icons.

The 18 year old Italian ranked 249, conquered three time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 60 76 in the first round and then followed it up with a 63 64 dismantling of former world no. 4 Kei Nishikori, with flashy ground strokes, including a one handed backhand and a difficult kick serve. These were Musetti’s first two ATP main draw match wins (he had qualified for main draw in Dubai earlier this year but lost first round).

You have to look back many years to find a comparably sensational ATP main draw debut.

Richard Gasquet was just 15 in 2002 when he qualified for the Monte Carlo main draw with wins against Nikolay Davydenko and Adrian Voinea and then beat Franco Squillari in the first round. Gasquet became the youngest main draw match winner since Tommy Ho in Rye Brook, NY in 1988. Gasquet lost to Marat Safin in the second.

Lleyton Hewitt was just 16 (and ten months) when he was given a wildcard into Adelaide as an unknown ranked 550. Hewitt won the title defeating the likes of Vince Spadea, Andre Agassi in the semifinal and Jason Stoltenberg in the final. Hewitt was and still is the lowest ranked ATP singles title winner in history.

Hewitt actually made his ATP debut at 15, qualifying for the 1997 Australian Open main draw, where he lost to Sergi Bruguera.

Musetti achieved a decorated ITF junior career, winning 2019 AO juniors (def. Emilio Nava) and reaching finals at 2018 US Open (lost to Thiago Wild Seyboth).

The Musetti Express ended today with a 64 60 loss to Dominik Koepfer in the round of 16, but expect to hear and see a lot more in the coming years of the long haired, backward Nike cap wearing phenom from Carrara, Italy and current residence of Monte Carlo, coached by Simone Tartarini.

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  • Matty · October 1, 2020 at 5:33 am

    And won the Forli Challenger this week, beating Tieafo in 1R

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 1, 2020 at 8:17 am

    McEnroe said he never heard of him till he beat wawrinka.

  • Scoop Malinowski · October 1, 2020 at 8:17 am

    Poor Tiafoe can’t seem to get anything going.



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