Musetti continues surprise run with victory over Nishikori


Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti produced another stunning performance at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, adding Kei Nishikori to his growing list of scalps.

Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Rome

Second round: Musetti d. Nishikori, 6-3, 6-4
Key info: 18-year-old Italian qualifier Lorenzo Musetti, the 2019 Australian Open Boys champion, stunned Kei Nishikori for his second consecutive upset win in Rome.
You will also learn: Musetti, the world 249, is the youngest player to reach the round of 16 at Rome since 1991.
Why you should read this story: Musetti is another talented young Italian making waves at his home tournament.

Lorenzo Musetti had another big challenge ahead of him in Kei Nishikori after knocking off Stan Wawrinka 6-0, 7-6 in the first round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, and he came through again with a 6-3, 6-4 victory. He became the youngest player to reach round of 16 in Rome since Fabrice Santoro in 1991.

The first set started tightly, with the first three games resulting in deuces to be settled and both players held. It was the Italian who struck first, as he jumped out to a 0-40 lead in Nishikori’s second service game, having fended off three break points on his own. Musetti, who became the first player born in the year 2002 to notch an ATP win on Tuesday, held on to break Nishikori to go up 3-1, and that singular break was all he needed to cruise to the first set.

The second set followed the flow of the match in that it was tightly contested. The duo started with four straight love games to hold, and each had two break points later to crack the set open. However, those were to no avail as they continued to hold serve. The score was knotted at 4-4 with the Japanese serving when the Italian turned on the style and pushed Nishikori to the brink. The world No 35 was able to fend off a break point, but Musetti seized his second break point in the game to serve for the match. The 18-year-old fell behind 0-30 but followed that with four straight points to extend his dream run.

Musetti will face Dominik Koepfer in the round of 16. The German pulled off the upset with a straight-sets win over Gael Monfils in round two.

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