Sinner, Musetti — “the future of tennis” — inspiring each other to climb even higher

Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti won their third-round matches at Roland-Garros on Saturday. They spoke about each other following their respective victories.

Jannik Sinner at Roland-Garros in 2021

Nothing is separating Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musettii at Roland-Garros. Both are fast-rising Italians are through to the second week of the French Open and both are awaiting fourth-round showdowns against all-time great opponents (Rafael Nadal for Sinner and Novak Djokovic for Musetti).

But it is not all similarities between the countrymen. Sinner is the kind of player from whom you know what you are going to get. He is a huge hitter of the ball who likes to keep points short, and for the most part he stays even-keeled mentally while rarely displaying outward emotion. Musetti is more unpredictable. He is a brilliant shot-maker who can come up with just about anything at any time on the court, and his emotions can often run and hot and cold. You can generally tell from Musetti’s body language how he is faring in a match. With Sinner, you might not know if he is leading by a set and a break or trailing 6-0, 5-0.

Following his third-round win over Mikael Ymer on Saturday, Sinner spoke about another difference between himself and his compatriot. The 19-year-old said that Musetti is even more talented than he is!

“I think he’s talented; very, very talented,” Sinner assessed. “I would say maybe more than me. Physically (he) is very, very strong. With the ball, he can do whatever he wants. He has more options than me.”

“I THINK WE ARE THE FUTURE”

Musetti, also 19, may have more variety in his game — but he admits that he remains behind Sinner from an overall standpoint in terms of development on tour. Ranked 19th in the world, Sinner has won 54 matches on the main tour in his career — including two ATP titles. Musetti is the No 76 player in the world with 21 lifetime main-tour match wins.

“Me and Jannik, I think we are the future of Italian tennis. And of tennis in general. Of course he’s a bit [ahead of] me. I’m just living what he was living like last year (Sinner lost to Nadal in the French Open quarter-finals), so we are growing up together. We are playing every week now together. I finally enter into the tour. That was my goal.

“Of course I’m really proud and happy that Jannik is still winning and is still going forward in the slams and is one of the best in the race (to Turin). Yeah, I think he deserves it. I think we will have a lot of time together in the future. I’m happy about that.”

For both Italians, the immediate future is tough tests against two of the best players of all time.

Taking down Nadal and Djokovic may be too tough of a task, but even if it is, the future is bright for both teenagers. More and more success is sure to come — even if they go about achieving it in different ways.

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