Fixture: (15) Hubert Hurkacz vs Lorenzo Musetti
Date: 10 May 2021
Tournament: Internazionali BNL d'italia 2021
Round: First round (Round of 64)
Venue: Rome, Italy
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €2,082,960
Match timing: Not before 7 pm local time, 10.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Hubert Hurkacz vs Lorenzo Musetti preview
15th seed Hubert Hurkacz will be looking to kick off his 2021 Italian Open campaign on a strong note as he takes on fast-rising Italian teen Lorenzo Musetti in the first round.
Hurkacz began his 2021 season in style as he won the title at Delray Beach, defeating talented youngster Sebastian Korda in the final. There was more to come from the Polish giant at the Miami Open, as he beat some big names - including Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner - to lift his maiden Masters 1000 title.
Although Hurkacz has had a quiet time since then, he will be eager to do well at this year's Rome Masters. The World No. 16 gave a good account of himself at the Foro Italico last year, beating Andrey Rublev before suffering a hard-fought three-set defeat to eventual finalist Diego Schwartzman.
Lorenzo Musetti has had a good start to the season himself. The 19-year-old made his top 100 debut earlier this year on the back of a last-four appearance at Acapulco.
Musetti came through the qualifiers in the Mexican city, before going on to beat Grigor Dimitrov, Frances Tiafoe and Diego Schwartzman in the main draw. The Italian was only stopped by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
Musetti has enjoyed respectable results since then too, having reached the third round at Miami and Cagliari en route to accumulating a 3-3 win-loss record. The 19-year-old will now be looking to make the most of his Rome wildcard, just as he did in 2020.
Playing his career's first tour-level event back then, Musetti punched well above his weight as he defeated former top 5 players Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori to reach the third round.
Hubert Hurkacz vs Lorenzo Musetti head-to-head
The head-to-head between the two players currently stands at 0-0 as Hubert Hurkacz and Lorenzo Musetti have never played each other on the tour.
Hubert Hurkacz vs Lorenzo Musetti prediction
Hubert Hurkacz has impressed many fans with his effortless style of play, which came to the fore during his title-winning run in Miami. While the Pole does not strike his shots with as much power as his stature would suggest, he has great balance off both wings and positions himself well on the court.
Hurkacz has a huge first serve, which is an important get-out-of-jail card for him on any surface. The 6'5" Pole has also shown some improvements on his return lately, making him a more all-round package than he used to be.
Lorenzo Musetti, meanwhile, has an imperious one-handed backhand with which he can hit winners at will. The young Italian also possesses a strong forehand, and he looks to constantly change the direction of the rallies with his versatile strokes.
Musetti is a more technically astute player than most of his peers - especially on clay, where he gets a little more time to execute his flamboyant plays. Moreover, Hurkacz has had a barren run on dirt aside from his Rome campaign in 2020, which might give his younger opponent an edge in their match-up.
Prediction: Lorenzo Musetti to win in three sets.