Musetti Shares Key To Top 100 Breakthrough
The Italian has used his crafty, all-court game to reach three ATP Challenger Tour finals and two ATP Tour semi-finals over the past six months. But Musetti believes the key to his success has been his ability to turn below-par performances into victories.
“I am playing good, but sometimes I won also playing bad matches and I think that is the key,” Musetti told ATPTour.com. “I had a great attitude, even when I was playing bad. I made two finals in two Challengers and I was not playing good.”
During his run in Acapulco, the 19-year-old recovered from a set down in the first qualifying round and the second round of the main draw to record six consecutive wins. Musetti has also learned to draw positives from his defeats. His most recent loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Acapulco semi-finals provided him with an opportunity to test his game against top five opposition for the first time.
“Last week against Stefanos, I was really tired, but he was too big for me,” said Musetti. “I am not at that level, so I gained a lot of experience there, a lot of tips and things that I need to improve. The match against Stefanos taught me something.”
By reaching the Acapulco semi-finals, Musetti improved Italy’s status as one of the leading nations on the ATP Tour. Musetti became the ninth Italian member of the Top 100. Only France (11), Spain (11) and the United States (10) have greater presences in that group.
“It is a dream come true [to be in the Top 100]. It was one of my goals for the season,” said Musetti. “Acapulco was a fantastic week and I knew [that it was possible] before the match against Dimitrov, so it was really tough to play with the pressure to win. I did it and I was really proud of myself. Behind [the scenes] there is a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice, so I am really proud of myself.”
Musetti is the youngest player in the Top 100. He took that title from friend and fellow #NextGenATP Italian Jannik Sinner. The Italians, who are the only under-20 players in the Top 100, are currently in second and third position respectively in the ATP Race To Milan.
“Me and Jannik, we are friends,” said Musetti. “He is already almost Top 30 and we live in the same building in Monaco. We share moments and practice sometimes and now, we are going to share most of the tournaments together for our future. It is going to be fun.”
Musetti will make his Miami Open presented by Itaú debut this week. The 6’1" right-hander will open his campaign against American Michael Mmoh.