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First tour title for Musetti in Hamburg after Alcaraz epic
It was an enthralling three-set battle in the final of the Hamburg Open between two of the ATP Tour’s young hopefuls
It is his first ATP Tour-level title – and the world No 6 Alcaraz is the best-ranked opponent he has beaten.
But it was a hard-fought win – with the 20-year-old needing six championship points before sealing the win in two hours and 46 minutes.
“I have no words,” said Musetti afterwards. “It was a rollercoaster. I had so many match points, Carlos was so good at the match points, so many chances, but the key was to keep calm and have all the patience with myself. It was really not easy. Carlos was putting in so much effort on the match points when he was down. It was not easy to find the energy to come back…I think I’m still dreaming!”
Musetti – I tried not to let Carlos see how I was feeling
The Spaniard was stout opposition, of course. He had previously won all five of his career finals – and pushed the match to the limit. He saved two match points on the Musetti serve at the end of the second set, following it with a beautiful drop shot to take the advantage.
And Alcaraz began the tiebreak in exquisite style, with a wonderful passing shot to move 3-1 up.
Musetti then won five points in succession and had two more championship points on his racquet – before Alcaraz’s fiery forehand saved him once again to level up at 6-6 in the breaker.
And Musetti’s double-fault handed his opponent the second set – which lasted a mammoth hour and 14 minutes.
The Italian didn’t allow it to knock his confidence, though, getting his sixth match point on the Alcaraz serve, and finally taking it when the Spaniard hit it long.
Reflecting on the tiebreak, Musetti said afterwards: “I was really upset but I tried to not show my opponent my reaction. I tried to forgive myself all the match points and all the points that I couldn’t do it. I think that was the most impressive thing even for me, I didn’t expect the win after this rollercoaster. I’m super happy to be here and be the champion.”