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La résurrection de Stefanos Tsitsipas Jannik Sinner, on top of the world

Stefanos Tsitsipas defeated Lorenzo Musetti (7/5 7/5) in the fourth round of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia on May 18, 2023.

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There wasn’t a better weather for the second week of the tournament than during the first one. Rain delays kept on piling up day after day. A few lucky players managed to finish their matches in time. It wasn’t the case of Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Their late encounter was their second match of the day. The first one defeated Frances Tiafoe; the second won beat Lorenzo Sonego.

After his great performance in the afternoon, Lorenzo Musetti didn’t manage to play at the same level. Without being flaming, Stefanos Tsitsipas dominated the encounter.

The Greek played a flawless tennis at the beginning of the match. His will the win fast was crystal clear. He succeeded every shot he hit – he played with the lines and finished his points at the net. He got an early break on the first occasion. Nothing seemed to be able to disturb Stefanos Tsitsipas’ focus. He led 3/0. Lorenzo Musetti hung on. He used the speed of his one-handed backhand and the volume of his forehands to save double break points. Those missed opportunities reversed the trend. Lorenzo Musetti stopped handing out free points while Stefanos Tsitsipas lacked precision. Impatient to hit winners, he made too many unforced errors. His first serve percentage dropped. Logically, Lorenzo Musetti, got his break back. The first set was up for grabs: 4/4. Cheered on by the crowd, the young Italian freed his shots. He won his game of serve with class and ease while Stefanos Tsitsipas suffered to keep his own: 6/5. Lorenzo Musetti served to clinch a tiebreak. Tension was rising. He made a couple of unforced errors early in the rallies. Without having to do much, Stefanos Tsitsipas won the first set thanks to another fault from Lorenzo Musetti: 7/5.

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During the first minutes of the match, the Greek played an out-of-this-world tennis. The ball did everything he wished for. Too soon, Stefanos Tsitsipas’ level started to decrease. He had to fight against the dazzling forehands of his opponent. Even if Lorenzo Musetti dominated the second half of the set, he mentally fell apart in the moment that mattered. He let the first set slip away.

The Italian started the second set without thinking to his previous catastrophic game. He hit an astonishing passing shot that gave him three early break points. A rushed serve-and-volley from Stefanos Tsitsipas allowed Lorenzo Musetti to take the lead: 1/0. He confirmed his advantage with a love game. The latter multiplied flaming forehands while Stefanos Tsitsipas ran after the ball. His too many unforced errors prevented him from winning points from the back of the court. He forced himself to play a constructed forward tennis to survive in this set: 2/1. Lorenzo Musetti maintained his level: 3/1. The Greek found back his serve quality. He won a love game made of unreturned first serves: 3/2. Even if Stefanos Tsitsipas kept on doing a few errors, he took advantage of a mediocre game of his opponent to match the score: 3/3. The fifth player of the world’s serves allowed him to take the lead. Lorenzo Musetti still believed in victory. He made a pile of winners: drop shots, backhands down the line, forehands that landed on the lines: 5/4. The Italian served to stay in the match. He saved three match points with courage and talent: 5/5. Stefanos Tstisipas, pressure-proof, won another love game. The fist set pattern started all over again. Unable to deal with his emotions, Lorenzo Musetti made a double fault. The Greek took advantage of the feverishness of his opponent. Stefanos Tsitsipas got two other match points. A great return allowed him to win the first one.  

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The second set illustrated one of the worst difficulties of tennis: fighting against oneself. Despite his numerous unforced errors at the beginning of the set, Stefanos Tsitsipas managed to pull himself together. By forcing himself to come at the net, he controlled his strikes and repressed his haze. As for Lorenzo Musetti, he didn’t manage to play while being under pressure in the moments that mattered.

During the match, the two opponents never played their best tennis at the same time. Nevertheless, their talent was enough to dazzle the center court crowd. Stefanos Tsitsipas showed the efficiency of his forehand accelerations as well as his abilities at the net. Lorenzo Musetti freed the power and the beauty of his one-handed backhand.

Lorenzo Musetti against Stefanos Tsitsipas : the best points

With Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic being out of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Stefanos Tsitsipas can be considered as the main contender for the title.

Marnie Abbou

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