It has been a memorable week in the career of Lorenzo Musetti. Alex Mann describes it and a lot more in this Lorenzo Musetti player profile.
The Italian won his first Tour-level title at the ATP 500 event in Hamburg, Germany. By defeating Carlos Alcaraz in the final, Musetti rose into the top 50 of the ATP singles rankings for the first time in his career, reaching world number 31.
The Italian not only showed the tennis world his spectacular shot-making, but his ability to beat some of the best players in the world.
It’s been a tough year for Musetti, who has struggled for consistency, but this title in Hamburg should help the 20-year-old rediscover his impressive tennis, which saw him reach the fourth round of the French Open in 2021.
An outstanding junior career
Lorenzo Musetti was born on 3rd March 2002 in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy.
The Italian had an outstanding junior career, reaching two major junior finals, including winning the 2019 Boys Australian Open title. He also reached number 1 in the ITF Junior rankings.
Musetti burst onto the pro tour in 2020 as a 17-year-old, winning two qualifying rounds to reach the main draw of the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai. He subsequently lost to Andrey Rublev in the first round.
At the 2020 Rome Masters tournament, he had his first breakthrough on the pro tour, defeating Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori on his way to reaching the round of 16.
By doing so, he became the first tennis player born in 2002 to win a match on the ATP Tour.
He backed up this spectacular result the following week with some impressive wins at the ATP Challenger in Forli, Italy, defeating seasoned names such as Frances Tiafoe, Andreas Seppi and Lloyd Harris to reach the semi-final.
Musetti then defeated Thiago Monteiro in two tight tiebreaks to win his first Challenger title at 18.
The Italian ended his stellar 2020 at a career-high of 128 in singles.
In March 2021, Lorenzo Musetti broke into the top 100 for the first time as he reached the semi-final of ATP 500 event in Acapulco, Mexico.
Musetti defeated Diego Schwartzman to record his first top 10 win. He backed up this result by knocking out Frances Tiafoe and Grigor Dimitrov back to back before losing out to Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-final. With this result, Musetti flew up the ATP singles rankings to a then-career high of 94.
Musetti continued his rise, making the semi-final of the ATP 250 event in Lyon. He recorded another set of impressive wins defeating Felix Auger-Aliassime, Sebastian Korda and Aljaz Bedene before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas again.
It felt like only a matter of time before the young Italian converted his winning on the ATP Tour to the Majors.
In his first major main draw appearance at the 2021 French Open, Musetti showed the tennis world why he had been tipped to become one of the next great players.
He upset 13th seed David Goffin in three sets in the first round. In the second round, he dispatched world number 57 Yoshihito Nishioka, in straight sets to set up an all-Italian clash with former French Open semi-finalist Marco Cecchinato.
Musetti overcame Cecchinato in a tough five-set battle to progress to the fourth round of a major for the first time in his young career.
Facing the world number 1 Novak Djokovic, Musetti conjured up some outstanding tennis, hitting some incredible one-handed backhands and delicate drop shots to rattle Djokovic and take two sets to love lead.
Although Musetti couldn’t sustain his level, ultimately losing in five sets, his performance showed his talent and ability to take on one of the best players in the world on the biggest stages in tennis.
Next Gen Star
Musetti concluded his 2021 season by participating in the Next-Gen Finals in Milan, Italy. The tournament sees the top 8 ATP players aged 21 or under battle it out to be crowned the best young player.
The Italian defeated Hugo Gaston in the group stages but lost his two other matches to Sebastian Baez and Sebastian Korda.
He ended 2021 ranked 59th in the world in singles.
Coming off a stellar season for the young Italian, there was much hope that Musetti would continue to fly up the rankings and crack the top 50.
Tough start to 2022
However, he began 2022 with two consecutive losses to Taro Daniel at the ATP 250 event in Adelaide and to Alex de Minaur in the first round of the Australian Open.
He did make the quarter-final of the ATP 500 event in Rotterdam but struggled for match wins during the post-Australian Open hard court swing.
By the time the clay court season was up and running, Musetti once again reminded the tennis world why he reached the fourth round of Roland Garros in 2021.
Clay is his favorite surface
At the Monte-Carlo Masters event, he made the round of 16, defeating Felix Auger Aliassime along the way for his second top 10 win.
He continued this form and made the round of 16 at the subsequent two events he played, the Barcelona Open and the Madrid Masters.
Floating around the rankings between 50 and 60, Musetti was once again unseeded for the French Open.
He faced world number 4, Stefanos Tsitsipas, in the first round. In a near mirror image performance to his match against Djokovic in 2021, the Italian went two sets to love up before losing considerably in five sets.
This performance showed flashes of Musetti’s brilliant tennis, but his inability to sustain it over a long period to win.
First ATP Tour title
After a few inconsistent months, which saw him accumulate a 4-match losing streak and drop down the rankings, Musetti bounced back to win his first ATP title at the Hamburg Open.
By defeating Alacarz in the final, the 20-year-old Italian recorded his third top 10 victory and reached a career-high of 31 on the ATP Singles rankings.
The most surprising part of Musetti’s title win was that he won the final in three sets after Alcaraz saved a miraculous five championship points in the second set.
It looked like another repeat of Musetti’s past performances, losing after winning the first set. This time, however, he didn’t fade and claimed victory on his 6th championship point, winning 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4.
Is the hype deserved?
Tipped as one of the best future players on the ATP, there is a lot of hype around the Italian. His smooth shot on both the forehand and one-handed backhand and his all-round court craftiness make him an exciting player.
He possesses a skill set that can match the very best we have seen in the sport. His volleys are superb and he has a deadly drop shot in his locker. This is something that is rarely seen in young players.
Although he’s had an inconsistent year, his win in Hamburg last week will give him hope that he can deliver and become one of the best players in the world.
Read more about Lorenzo Musetti’s racquet here.