Lorenzo Musetti says he played his best ever tennis on Monday after going two sets up against Novak Djokovic at Roland Garros.
The 19-year-old made an impressive start, matching the world number one point for point, taking him to two tie-breaks and winning both to get him off to a great lead.
And the Italian youngster did it in style, showing off both his creativity and power on court, not something you’d usually expect from a player making his Grand Slam debut in the main draw, and has only just broken into the top 100 rankings in March this year.
Unfortunately for him, the experienced Serbian managed to turn the game around, taking the third and fourth set easily before Musetti retired through injury in the fifth.
Despite the result, Musetti says he enjoyed the experience and is happy with his performance, but will take a big learning experience from it.
“For me [it] was a fantastic experience. I think I was playing my best tennis, for sure. I have never played like today,” Musetti said.
“The first two sets were really long, more than two hours. Of course I’m a little bit disappointed, but I played against [the] No. 1 in the world, and I took the first two sets.”
“He started playing really good, and then I had some problems with my physical part. I think I have to work there.”
Musetti had a five set match against fellow countryman Marco Cecchinato in the third round and he thinks that impacted his fitness in the Djokovic clash.
“Of course the match with Cecchinato was five sets, three hours, and was really tough, was really intense,” he added.
“Maybe if I had played three sets [against Cecchinato] instead of five today [it would have been] different.
“But you cannot compare. I’m happy with this week and with the tennis that I have showed today.”
After the match, the Italian was reflective about the result and what this means for his season ahead.
“I came here to play my first Grand Slam in the main draw, and I made [the] second week taking two sets against the No. 1 in the world. I think I took away a lot of feelings, a lot of emotions, but a lot of experience,” Musetti said.
“Now I know how can I play, how far I am from the biggest [players on] the Tour, like Nole, so I know that if I play good I can stay at this level.
“I think I’m doing really good almost every week. When you have [a new] best ranking every week, I think you are doing good.
“I’m making a lot of points… I think it’s a really good season for me at the moment. But we are at the halfway [point of the season], so let’s see how the other half is going to end.”
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