Roger Federer is not only the favorite player of 18-year-old Lorenzo Musetti, but also the human being that the Italian admires the most. Thus, it came as no surprise that the teenager picked warming up with Roger Federer at the Australian Open last year as one of the most memorable and emotional moments of his short career so far.
Musetti enjoyed an incredible 2020 season, finishing the year ranked No. 129. The former junior World No. 1 scored wins over Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori to reach the third round of the Rome Masters, after entering as a wild card in the qualifiers. That made him the first player born in 2002 to score an ATP tour main draw win.
Musetti then defeated four top 100 players to claim this first Challenger title (in Italy), before reaching the semifinals at the Sardinia Open.
But according to Musetti, the encounter with Roger Federer in Melbourne still stands out from all his career moments.
Mussetti talked about Roger Federer in a recent interview with Corriere Della Serra, after being asked about his 'most intense emotion' so far.
"Warming up Roger Federer at the Australian Open last year. 'Hi, I'm Roger', he said while entering the court. I started playing tennis because as a kid, I saw him (Roger Federer) on TV dressed in white on the green courts at Wimbledon," the Italian said.
Jannik Sinner is three steps ahead of me: Lorenzo Musetti
Lorenzo Musetti is one of two Italian teens, the other being 19-year-old Jannik Sinner, who have made major strides over the past couple of years. The two seem to share a genuine bond of friendship and mutual respect, and Musetti claims that Sinner being ahead of him in the rankings has helped keep the spotlight away.
"Jannik is three steps ahead of me, I thank him (for his compliments) but he is the strongest for now," Musetti said. "(Him) Being the center of attention is doing me a great favor. At the Internationals (Rome Masters), I was more tired from the interviews than after defeating Wawrinka!"
Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti are both outrageously gifted, but in very different ways. While Sinner is adept at taking the ball on the rise and generating effortless power, Musetti is better known for his variety and deft touch.
The 18-year-old admitted that the sheer number of options at his disposal sometimes leaves him confused.
"I have so many options that I often get confused and confused," Musetti said. "Jannik has three or four that really hurt a lot and is never wrong."Published 06 Jan 2021, 19:32 IST