Lorenzo Musetti relishing first meeting with Novak Djokovic, says he will "do his best" to beat the World No. 1

Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic

Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti will play Novak Djokovic for the first time in his career in the fourth round of the 2021 Roland Garros on Monday.

Musetti, playing in the main draw of a Grand Slam for the first time, defeated compatriot Marco Cecchinato in straight sets to set up the clash with Djokovic.

Speaking to the media after the win, Musetti revealed he was looking forward to his meeting with the top-ranked Serb , with whom he has practiced several times in recent weeks.

"We know each other a little bit," Musetti said. "[We] never played [a match] and it's going to be the first time, [which is big], especially in a Grand Slam.
"So for sure there is going to be a little bit of tension, but I think that is what I've been working for since my childhood. All the sacrifice and hard work I did in my childhood became reality now. So I'm just enjoying the moment and I will try to do my best."

Musetti revealed that he was overwhelmed by his win over Cecchinato but asserted he would try his best to beat Novak Djokovic.

"I have a lot of feelings right now, and I'm not thinking about the match," said Musetti. "I [will] try to enjoy the win of today a bit, and then tomorrow I will focus on trying to beat Novak and try to go forward."

Novak Djokovic, who made short work of Ricardas Berankis in his third-round match, reckons Lorenzo Musetti will pose a big threat.

"I know very much so that he is a big challenge to me," Novak Djokovic said. "So there is no question I have to go out playing on a high level, because, you know, he will not have much to lose. I'm sure he's gonna come out and really try to play tennis of his life playing on one of the two big courts."

Djokovic also heaped praise on Musetti's game, highlighting how the Italian had multiple shots at his disposal.

"I really like how he plays," added Novak Djokovic. "He's got a lot of firepower from both forehand and backhand. He can play with a lot of spin. He's got a great feel, come to the net. He can play short balls and dropshots. He can flatten out his serve. He can open up with a good kick and slice. He's got really all-around game."

Lorenzo Musetti is a very nice kid: Novak Djokovic

Lorenzo Musetti
Lorenzo Musetti

Novak Djokovic further described Lorenzo Musetti as a "very nice kid" and pointed out that while they might not have faced off on tour before, they have practiced with each other recently.

"I think Lorenzo is very nice, first of all, very nice kid, very nice guy. We did hit a lot in practice," Djokovic said. "We never faced each other, but we did practice actually this season on this surface in Monte-Carlo couple of times and other tournaments."

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Edited by Arvind Sriram
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