The British No1, Dan Evans, the top seed at the Sardegna Open, was beaten after a two-hour and 10-minute three-set marathon, by Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti.
I tried to stay calm and tried to play each point. That is what I did, and it worked, so I am really happy and really proud of myself with this win. L:orenzon Musetti
Evans, who received a bye into the last 16, had seemingly felt the lack of match inactivity these past few days as he struggled in the first set before recovering to meet the 19-year-old’s challenge and force it into a tight third set decider.
But it proved to be the young Italian’s day for he saved four match-points before closing it out 6-1 1-6 7-6(8).
“It was really tough. I was 3-6 down in the tie-break and he was playing good, always going to the net and always aggressive,” the world No.90 said following his victory.
“I tried to stay calm and tried to play each point. That is what I did, and it worked, so I am really happy and really proud of myself with this win.”
Musetti, the youngest player in the top 100 of the player rankings, is one win away from reaching his third ATP Tour semi-final.
“The secret for me is not to think about [their ranking], to just play them like other opponents,” Musetti added. “I try to play my game and try to play as good as I can. That is what I did. With them, I always play good. I don’t know why. I have no pressure and I feel free. I have no pressure to win and today was the same.”
He certainly showed great composure as he held off the more experienced Briton hitting two winners, including a precise forehand drop shot at 5-6 in the tie-break, and struck unreturnable serves to save three of the four match points he faced. Musetti converted his second match point with another forehand drop shot winner
faces Serbia’s Laslo Djere on Friday for a spot in the semi-finals.
Djere, who beat Aussie Jon Millman, the sixth seed 6-3 6-3, has the psychological advantage having eaten Musetti in their only previous meeting,
In other action, another Italian Marco Cecchinato, bowed out 7-5 6-1 to Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann who goes on to play Lorenzo Sonego, an Italian 25-year-old, who took out the experienced 35-year-old Frenchman, Gilles Simon 5-4 6-1.
At the Andalucia Open in Marbella, Italian second seed Fabio Fognini crashed out in straight sets crushed by the Spaniard Jaume Munar 6-2 6-1 after 84-minutes, who converted six of 16 breakpoints to reach the quarter-finals where he faces Belarussian Ilya Ivashka, who in turn saved all nine break points in his 6-1 6-3 win over Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich.
The 17-year-old Spanish wlldcard Carlos Alcaraz ousted his veteran compatriot Feliciano Lopez 4-6 6-2 6-4 in what was a a testing match for both players as the pendulum swung back and forth between the two before Alcaraz took control in the latter stages.
Third seed and last year’s Rome Masters 1000 semi-finalist Casper Ruud of Norway cruised past Italian Gianluca Mager 6-3 6-2. Ruud will face Alcaraz in the quarter final.