Lorenzo Musetti says he was playing without any pressure in the first round of Roland Garros and that his performance shows he can compete at this level.
The young Italian has had a breakthrough season, reaching the semi-finals of the ATP 500 in Acapulco, the semi’s of the ATP 250 in Lyon, both of which he lost to Stefanos Tsitsipas and breaking into the Top 100.
Tipped as one of tennis’ next big things, the 19-year-old is a former junior world number one and has been compared to a young Roger Federer due to his style of play.
Musetti is making his main draw Grand Slam debut at this year’s Roland Garros and was given a tough first round draw against 13th seed and former quarter-finalist David Goffin.
But the youngster saw off his experienced opponent in straight sets, winning 6-0, 7-5, 7-6 and the win has done wonders for his confidence.
“I think this is the proof that I have the level,” said Musetti.
“Sometimes when I am not focused and not playing really good, of course my level is not like today.
“For sure I am playing better when I’m without pressure because today, I was playing really relaxed,” Musetti said.
“Of course, it was not easy to win even if I was relaxed. When you play against the [No.]13 in the world, it’s not the same thing [like] playing [someone] worse than you [in] the rankings that you must [beat].”
Musetti thinks the key to winning was not to overthink or talk himself through every point and that helped him to stay calm in the pressure moments.
“I was a little bit under pressure when I was serving for the match,” said Musetti.
“He was always returning from the baseline really close to the line. He was giving me a lot of pressure.
“I just stayed calm and tried to think at each point, like the last one. I tried to [not] speak, [not] talk. It worked. I am happy about that.”
Musetti will now face Yoshihito Nishioka in the second round after he beat Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6.
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