#NextGenATP Musetti Fights Back To Reach Sardinia Semi-finals
Italian to meet Djere in Saturday's semi-finals
The Italian wild card showcased great maturity and shot variation to recover from 0-4 down in the second set of a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann in 88 minutes. Musetti is the youngest ATP Tour semi-finalist since 18-year-old Jannik Sinner at the 2019 European Open in Antwerp.
“It’s amazing,” Musetti told ATPTour.com. “Last week, I was playing in Parma and losing to Frances [Tiafoe], a great player. I was thinking of coming here and trying to go as far as I could, but I am living my best moments in Sardinia. I am playing my best tennis here.
“I was in trouble a little bit in the second set, as Yannick was returning so well. I had a great attitude in the second set, fighting for every point to win six games in a row. I think my great weeks in Rome and Forli took me to this level of confidence to keep me at this playing level. I have learned more about how to manage match pressure and how to behave on the court.”
Hanfmann, runner-up at the Generali Open last month (l. to Kecmanovic), had beaten Musetti 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the second round of an ATP Challenger Tour event in Todi, Italy, in August.
The 18-year-old Musetti will next challenge Serbia’s Laslo Djere, who reached the 10th ATP Tour clay-court semi-final of his career with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Jiri Vesely of the Czech Republic in 83 minutes.
Since beating Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori en route to the Internazionali BNL d'Italia third round in Rome last month, Musetti has gone on to capture his first ATP Challenger Tour title in Forli, where he overcame four Top 100 players: Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi, Lloyd Harris and Thiago Monteiro. Having been No. 363 in the FedEx ATP Rankings on 20 January, Musetti is now up to a career-high No. 143.
“I think I can play well on every surface,” said Musetti, who has been coached by Simone Tartarini since the age of eight. “The first tournament of next year will be in Australia, and I always play well there. I do play well on hard courts. I hope to continue as I have been and break into the Top 100 before the start of 2021.”
Elsewhere, Italian wild card Marco Cecchinato knocked out fourth seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 in two hours and 12 minutes. Cecchinato now faces Serbian lucky loser, Danilo Petrovic, who replaced top seed Fabio Fognini in the main draw and overcame Federico Delbonis of Argentina 7-6(3), 6-1 in one hour and 34 minutes on Friday for a place in his first ATP Tour semi-final.