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Roger Federer the best but Novak Djokovic the most impressive, says junior AO champion

  • In a recent interview, young Italian Lorenzo Musetti talked highly about Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
  • Musetti, who won the junior AO title in 2019, described Federer as his idol and Djokovic as the most stable player.
Modified 28 May 2020, 14:54 IST
Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer
Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer

In an interview with UBI Tennis, young Italian player Lorenzo Musetti said that Roger Federer is his idol but Novak Djokovic is the one who has impressed him the most.

Lorenzo Musetti, ranked 284th in the world, is the highest-ranked Italian singles player born in 2002 or later. Musetti trained with 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer at the Australian Open earlier this year.

When asked about his experience with the Swiss legend in Melbourne, the young Italian admitted that Roger Federer is the player he looks up to.

"With Roger it was a warm-up, I didn't do any particular point or exercise, but I agree with his fans who consider him the best of all: he is my tennis idol."

The 18-year-old also had a hit with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and US Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev during that tournament. Musetti was unequivocal in his praise for the 33-year-old Novak Djokovic's stable game and responses to various situations.

"It is difficult to judge them based on a half hour (of practice), even though I played an hour with Djokovic and Medvedev. But if I have to be honest, what impressed me the most was Novak Djokovic; he makes an impression for (being) stable, firm, always in balance and how he responds. I made a few points with him and that's what made the most impact on me."

Musetti described Daniil Medvedev as a player who is tough to play against as he plays deep despite not having a 'crazy ball speed':

"Medvedev, on the other hand, is a very particular player and I think he is really tough in the game because he plays very deep. He does not have a crazy ball speed but is so solid and precise that making the point is really tough."

Lorenzo Musetti won the junior Australian Open singles title in 2019 before turning professional after Roland Garros that year. The young Italian made a decent transition from the junior circuit, reaching the quarterfinals at two Challenger events and losing in the final round of qualifying at the Australian Open this year.

How did Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic fare at the Australian Open this year?

Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer at the 2020 Australian Open
Novak Djokovic (left) and Roger Federer at the 2020 Australian Open

Novak Djokovic started the 2020 season by winning all six of his singles titles at the inaugural ATP Cup for the victorious Team Serbia. The Serb then turned his attention to the Australian Open.

Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer for the fourth time in as many Australian Open semifinals (also 2008, 2011, 2016) en route to a record-equaling eighth final at Melbourne Park.

Against an inspired Dominic Thiem, Novak Djokovic successfully clawed back from a two sets to one deficit for the first time in a Grand Slam final, to win his 17th Grand Slam title. In the process, the Serb extended his own record of most Australian Open titles to eight.

Novak Djokovic then lifted the title in Dubai to go 18-0 for the year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced a suspension of the tour.

Roger Federer appeared in the Australian Open main draw for the 21st consecutive year. His first round win over Steve Johnson made him the first player in the Open Era to win singles matches in four different decades.

The six-time champion at Melbourne Park won six consecutive points in the fifth set tiebreak to see off his 2018 US Open conqueror John Millman in the fourth round.

In the quarterfinals, an out of sorts Roger Federer teetered on the brink of defeat against World No. 100 Tennys Sandgren. Trailing by two sets to one, the Swiss legend saved as many as seven match points in the fourth set to pull off one of the grandest escape acts of his storied career.

In the semifinals however, Roger Federer's luck ran out. Despite leading by a break in the first set, the Swiss went down to eventual champion Novak Djokovic for the fourth time in five meetings at the Australian Open.

Roger Federer has since undergone a knee surgery. His absence from the ATP Tour has coincided with the COVID-19 outbreak that has forced the tour's suspension until August.

Published 28 May 2020, 14:54 IST
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