WATCH: Lorenzo Musetti wins marathon in Milan to keep Next Gen Finals hopes alive
Lorenzo Musetti put on a show for his home crowd and kept the magic alive in Milan as he could still qualify for the semi-finals.
The Italian youngster lost his opening match Sebastian Baez of Argentina. Baez, ranked 111th in the world, had previously played just two matches at ATP tour level, earning his place in Milan via the Challenger Tour.
Musetti then took on French talent Hugo Gaston. With Gaston losing his first match to Sebastian Korda, the loser between Musetti and Gaston would not be able to move on to the semi-finals.
Two tight opening sets saw Musetti claim both in tiebreaks, 7-4 and 8-6 respectively.
However, Gaston did not give up, clawing back the third 4-2. Another tiebreak was needed to decide the fourth, Gaston narrowly claiming it 9-7 after saving two match points.
The decider was close-run until 3-2 in the Italian’s favour. With Gaston serving to stay in the match, the score came to 40-40 and a deciding point. A forehand from the Frenchman sailed long as Musetti fell to the court.
He had won 4-3, (7-4), 4-3 (8-6), 2-4, 3-4 (7-9), 4-2 in just over two and a half hours, the longest match in Next Gen ATP Finals history.
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“I’m really tired right now,” Musetti admitted in his post-match interview. “I could [have] won in three sets but [Gaston] came back with really great tennis that he also showed last week in Paris.”
He will face Sebastian Korda next. While Group B is complicated when it comes to who will qualify for the semi-finals, a win for Musetti would guarantee his progression.
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