This content was published 2 years ago. It may refer to a past edition of the Internazionali d’Italia.
Musetti claimed another notable scalp on Thursday night at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, upsetting Kei Nishikori, who is ranked 214 places above him, 6-3 6-4 on Court Centrale.
The 18-year-old qualifier produced another sublime performance to see off Nishikori, who is playing just his second tournament since undergoing elbow surgery last October, and become the first Italian teenager to reach the last 16 in Rome since Diego Nargiso in 1989.
“Kei is a fantastic player. I knew that he was stopped by an injury and he had an operation. So I try to take the chance that I had tonight, and, I mean, was really — I mean, I’m really proud of myself on what I did tonight. Kei is a fantastic player. He has timing with especially with the backhand down the line fantastic. I mean, I hope that he recovers with the injury, and, I mean, I wish him good luck for the rest of the season,” said Musetti.
Musetti, who is making his debut at the Italian Open, had to fend off three break points at 1-1 in the first set but that was the only time he was troubled on serve in the opener. Displaying firepower on both his forehand and backhand sides, he hit 11 winners on his way to clinching the first set.
The second set went on serve until the ninth game when the floodlights went off and a 12-minute delay ensued. The Italian was the more focused at the resumption, reeling off four points in a row to secure the break and then calmly served it out.
“Well, obviously he was playing good. He’s a good player, I think, especially on clay. I don’t know how he’s gonna play on hard, but for sure he’s gonna have a lot of power on the clay. Good backhand, too. Good serve. He can come in well. He can do pretty much everything. That’s I think big weapon for him. Well, for me, I’m not quite there yet. I need more matches to have more rhythm, but yeah, I would say he’s gonna be pretty good.” said Nishikori.
Musetti will face German qualifier Dominik Koepfer, who ousted No.5 seed Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 in 91 minutes, for a place in the quarter-final.