Wimbledon | Musetti outwits Fritz to make semi-final

Lorenzo Musetti proved himself the daddy as he stunned Taylor Fritz with a thrilling comeback victory to secure a Wimbledon semi-final against Novak Djokovic.

I'm really happy to be in my first semi-final here and I want to say thanks to my team and all my friends from my home-town who came to support me Lorenzo Musetti

Musetti, who became a father to a boy, Ludovico, in March, defeated favourite Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-6(5) 6-2 3-6 6-1.

The 25th seed from Carrara in Tuscany proved himself as tough as the marble extracted in his home town, as he became the fourth Italian to make it to the last four following Nicola Pietrangeli (1960), Matteo Berretini (2021) and Jannik Sinner (2023).

Musetti, 22, said: “I probably have no words (on reaching a first Slam semi-final semi-final,

“It’s tough to speak but I’ll try my best. I didn’t realise yet what I’ve done.

“First of all, I want to say thanks to all the Italian crowd who are here to support us.

“We were joking about trying to play to the big stage at Wimbledon. I’ve never tried Court One and Centre Court.

“I played a fantastic match because Taylor was in great shape.

“I’m really happy to be in my first semi-final here and I want to say thanks to my team and all my friends from my home-town who came to support me.”

The Fritz and Musettii showdown was scheduled for No.1 Court with the remaining quarter-final on the day between seven-time champion Djokovic and Alex De Minaur given top billing on Centre.

But the support act became the main event as De Minaur scratched with a few hours to spare because of a hip injury sustained on match point defeating Arthur Fils in the previous round.

And the spectators at the All England Club’s second most prestigious court were understandably delighted with no late switch to the most famous lawn in tennis.

Lorenzo Musetti skills were very evident

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

It was a clash between the Big Server in Fritz and The Artist in Musetti . The American went in favourite following his dramatic comeback win from two sets down against fourth seed Alexander Zverrev to secure his second appearance in the last-eight of The Championships.

It stretched the American’s unbeaten run to eight matches, including a run to his third Eastbourne title in the week leading up to The Championships, One more and it would equal his best tour run. He also held a win from 2022 in their only meeting at The Championships.

On top of that the 26-year-old had been adjudged to have the best serve at the tournament, only having been broken twice in 76 service games going into his meeting with Musetti.

But his wiley, versatile opponent had come into the tournament playing outstanding tennis, making the semi-finals at Stuttgart and the final at Queen’s.

It was clear that part of Fritz’s game was in good working order as he dominated the opening set after saving multiple break points in the very first game. Musetti struggled with his first serve and inviting Fritz to display his aggressive qualities, was broken in the fourth game with his American opponent moving on to take the lead.

And it seemed as if the completion of his job against the Italian might prove to be a swift one as he broke Musetti right at the start of the second.

But the 25th seed managed to break straight back and hold to boost his belief that he could get back into the match. He kept his nose in front for 3-2 after surviving a break point and in the eighth game he broke the American to give himself the opportunity to serve out. But he was unable to take it as Fritz broke him to love with Musetti’s serve breaking down.

But the Italian maintained his composure and secured a set point at 5-3. However, Fritz held on thanks to a big serve and an unforced Musetti error.

Each player held as the set went into a tiebreak.

Fritz was rated favourite to win it by the onlooking sidelined former finalist Nick Kyrgios, commentating for the BBC.

Miusetti didn’t see it that way, of course, He gained an early mini-break before securing three more set points. Fritz saved one before dumping a return into the net as Musetti levelled.

Fritz ‘s reluctance to move forward paid dividends for Musetti at the start on the third set when the Italian broke him in the opening game of it, completing it with a glorious crosscourt forehand with his opponent too deep.

Musetti, though, was showing himself comfortable at the net, allowing his natural touch and flair to flourish, chipping and slicing at will.

Taylor Fritz couldn't find an answer in the quarter final match

(Photo by Shi Tang/Getty Images)

Fritz had kept a blank expression on his face, but a look of concern seemed to spread across it. He was struggling for answers as Musetti continued to mix it up.

The American’s serve evaporated – his serve percentage reduced to 20 – as the Italian broke him twice and established a 5-1 lead. Fritz held but his opponent served out to go 2-1 up in sets.

Fritz had to hang in at the start of the fourth set. Musetti was chipping and lobbing well and forcing his opponent into long rallies with the American having to save four break points in the fifth game of it.

It gave the 13th seed heart and he broke Musetti and served out to take the match the distance, like he did against Zverev, of course.

Musetti, though, dug in and the momentum swung back to him as a forehand pass sealed a break and he went 3-0 up. Another break and he extend it to 5-0.

Fritz held, but it delayed the inevitable. Musetti, appearing relaxed despite what victory meant, completed the win which sealed his first major semi-final as Fritz returned long.

And it left Fritz still searching for his first major quarter-final win after four attempts, having previously lost to Rafa Nadal and, twice, to Djokovic.



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