Fixture: Lorenzo Musetti vs Laslo Djere
Date: 9 April 2021
Tournament: Sardegna Open 2021
Venue: Cagliari, Italy
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €408,800
Match timing: Approx. 3 pm local time, 6.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel
Lorenzo Musetti vs Laslo Djere preview
In a repeat of last year’s semifinals, Lorenzo Musetti will take on defending champion Laslo Djere in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Sardegna Open on Friday.
Musetti survived four match points in his second-round match on Thursday, before beating top seed Dan Evans 6-1, 1-6, 7-6 (8). Djere, on the other hand, registered a straightforward 6-3, 6-3 win over John Millman.
Musetti, aged just 19, showed nerves of steel and exemplary skill to stave off a spirited comeback from Evans in the second and third sets. The Italian saved two of the four match points that he faced with exquisite drop shots, which speaks volumes of his ability to execute difficult shots under pressure.
Musetti has continued his momentum from the Acapulco Open, where he made the semifinals. Touted as one of the favorites for the title at Cagliari, the teenager did justice to those claims by outplaying Evans in most departments.
Laslo Djere, meanwhile, has won both of his matches this week in straight sets. In his first round, the Serb defeated Federico Gaio 6-4, 6-2.
The Serb won 78% of his service points against Gaio, losing his serve just once. And gainst Millman, Djere won 69% of his service points, which is impressive given the Australian's returning skill and athleticism.
Djere has been broken just twice at the event so far, which suggests he is feeling confident about his serve - something that Musetti will have to be wary of on Friday.
Lorenzo Musetti vs Laslo Djere head-to-head
Laslo Djere leads Lorenzo Musetti by a margin of 1-0 in the head-to-head. The two faced each other in the semifinals of the 2020 Sardegna Open, where Musetti was forced to retire while trailing 2-6, 6-2, 4-1.
Lorenzo Musetti vs Laslo Djere prediction
This is a tricky fixture to call, given that Lorenzo Musetti and Laslo Djere both excel on clay and are coming in on the back of some commendable performances.
Djere's tennis might not be the prettiest to watch, but it is very effective on slow surfaces. The Serb infuses his groundstrokes with a healthy amount of topspin, and can also slice his way out when in a spot of bother.
Add to that Djere’s knack of finding down-the-line winners out of nowhere, and Musetti could be in for a rough ride on Friday.
That said, the Italian has been moving exceptionally well this week, so it would take some doing to hit the ball past him. Musetti's backhand has also been on point; he pulled off several stunning down-the-line winners in the first round against Dennis Novak.
All things considered, this match is likely to go the distance. However, Djere’s experience might tilt the scales in his favor.
Prediction: Laslo Djere to win in three sets.