Friday, September 30, 2022

Young Italian men take over French Open. They have no idea why.

They also do not play much like Fognini. Fognini is a classic counterpuncher. He gossips around the court, taking his time before serving or returning. He will cut, bask and flick with his hand at the same point, wait for the smallest opening and then jump.

On Thursday, Sinner played as always. All afternoon, he attacked another Italian, 87th-ranked Gianluca Mager, from the back half of the field with darts to the sideline.

Berrettini, who is 6 feet 5, leads with his thriving serve, which has been clocked at 146 miles per hour. He strengthens himself into the field and finishes lots of points on the net. He also has an extremely effective backhand drop shot.

Musetti is strong almost everywhere on the court, with a hand-held hand in a museum quality, a beautiful, low to high shot that sends the ball flying out of his racket. Opponents have apparently won a point after pinning him deep on his backhand side and then ending up watching a laser dive into the corner.

“He has a lot of shots,” said Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, the world’s fifth-ranked player, about Musetti after beating him in Mexico in March. “He just needs to work a little on his serving.”

Musetti said he spent much of the spring doing it and tried to make it less predictable.

The work seems to pay off. Musetti has not yet lost a set here. In the third set on Thursday, his opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, aged six, kicked his racket over the clay and threw his cap.

“I’m not trying to explain this,” Musetti said after the victory. He faces, who else, another Italian, the 83rd ranked Marco Cecchinato in the third round.

Nation World News Desk
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