STARNBERG, September 15, 2020
Lorenzo Musetti became the first player born in 2002 to secure an ATP Tour win. The 18-year-old qualifier defeated three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6(2) in his first-round match of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on Tuesday evening in Rome.
In a showdown between the oldest and youngest players in the field, the former World No. 3 from Switzerland was trying to build on his winning return to clay in Prague last month. In his first outing since March and his first at ATP Challenger Tour level in more than a decade, Wawrinka won five matches – including four straight three-set clashes – to win the title in the Czech capital.
First player born in each year to win an ATP match:
’90 – Rufin
’91 – Dimitrov
’92 – R. Harrison
’93 – Thiem
’94 – Pouille
’95 – Kyrgios
’96 – Garin
’97 – A. Zverev
’98 – Frances Tiafoe
’99 – Shapovalov
’00 – Auger-Aliassime
’01 – Jannik Sinner
’02 – Musetti 👏
’03 – Alcaraz pic.twitter.com/5RcfFGChGZ
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 15, 2020
Musetti was only three when Wawrinka made his Rome debut against Tomas Berdych in 2005. The World No. 249 from Carrara won through three rounds of qualifying to book his home ATP Masters 1000 main draw berth this week and was the dominant player under the lights on Campo Centrale at Foro Italico.
Musetti, who had competed in a three-week Challenger clay-court swing on home soil in Todi, Trieste and Cordenons before coming to the Eternal City, sent down five aces and won 69 per cent of his first-service points to secure victory in one hour and 23 minutes.
“I didn’t expect this but I think I deserved this,” Musetti said in his post-match press conference. “I played really good tennis and I enjoyed all the points of this match. I had a lot of fun tonight. It is a dream to come true. I am still not believing what I did tonight.”
The teenager said that he is living the moment and is not focusing too much on the records: “I didn’t think about it. I just enjoyed the match a had a lot of fun. I hope to trust the process of my career and try to play better points every day. That is my goal at the moment.”
Musetti will next take on Kei Nishikori of Japan. “I watched him play on TV. He is an incredible player with an incredible career. I’m going to enjoy the victory before I start thinking about my match against Nishikori,” he said of his upcoming task.