Musetti Magic! 19-Year-Old Upsets Schwartzman In Acapulco

#NextGenATP Italian breaks the third seed four times to advance

Lorenzo Musetti made a splash on Tuesday evening in Acapulco, earning his first Top 10 win by beating third seed Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 to reach the second round of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC.

"There is a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice and I think some tears left in my eyes," Musetti said in his on-court interview. "I'm really proud of myself, but now I'm going to work harder and focus on the next days."

The #NextGenATP Italian broke onto the scene last year when he qualified for the ATP Masters 1000 event in Rome, where he defeated Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in the main draw. Later in the season, he reached his first ATP Tour semi-final in Sardinia.

The dynamic shotmaking and skills he showed in those moments came to the fore in Mexico against Schwartzman. Despite letting slip one opportunity to serve for the match in the third set, the 19-year-old held his nerve to convert his sixth match point and earn the biggest win of his career against the World No. 9.

"I think my forehand was the key because he's a really good player," Musetti said. "But tonight I [played] I think one of my best matches ever."

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Musetti was battle-tested after coming through three rounds of qualifying in Mexico, and he did not fear the Argentine star.

“Everyone has a racquet, there is a net. It’s 50-50 every time. That’s tennis,” Musetti told ATPTour.com after qualifying on Monday. “My mindset, I’m mentally trying to stay like this.”

The World No. 120 used a wide array of skills against Schwartzman, playing aggressively, changing the pace at times and putting magical touch on display, all while battling hard for every point.

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Musetti could have let things slip just as quickly as his match points disappeared. Schwartzman played like a smart veteran to put the pressure on his younger opponent, making few errors in the key moments. But on his sixth match point, Musetti hit an inside-out forehand on the line, and the Argentine missed a backhand into the net. The teen then fell to the court in celebration.

Musetti will next play American Frances Tiafoe, who outlasted countryman Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-7(5), 7-6(5) after two hours and 47 minutes.

Tiafoe went a combined 2-2 at clay-court events in Buenos Aires and Santiago. Back on the hard courts of Acapulco, the World No. 56 saved five of the six break points he faced. Tiafoe and Musetti split two clay-court ATP Challenger Tour meetings they had last year.

In other action, 2017 Nitto ATP Finals champion Grigor Dimitrov advanced to the second round. The former World No. 3 led Frenchman Adrian Mannarino 6-4, 3-0, 40/15 when the lefty retired.

Dimitrov is trying to maintain the momentum after reaching the quarter-finals of the Australian Open. He will next play Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic, who dispatched Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez 6-4, 6-4.

Did You Know?
Musetti has now won three of his four matches against Top 50 opponents. His only loss came against Andrey Rublev last year in Dubai.

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