For 20-year-old Italian Lorenzo Musetti, who overcame delayed preparations and endured a roller-coaster ride at the ATP 500 event in Hamburg, the sensations of hoisting his first Tour-level title will be difficult to forget.
Musetti had lost his previous six tour matches prior to the Hamburg European Open and had arrived in the German port city without his racket bag.
He was able to get his playing gear together in time for the event, but he subsequently got food poisoning.
“I arrived here… with all the strikes, one of my luggage (bags) got lost. (It was) the one with the rackets, so I was a little bit worried about how I would play,” Musetti told the ATP Tour after his victory on Sunday.
“The night before the start of the matches, I threw up all night. I had food poisoning, so I felt a little bit sick. I didn’t expect to go as far as I went, so I’m happy that my luck turned around at this tournament.”
He was on the verge of losing his sixth match in a row in the first round against Serbia’s Dusan Lajovic, but he fought back to save two match points and earn his first Tour-level victory since May.
Musetti was competing in his first championship final on Sunday, while his opponent, Spain’s 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz, had won all five Tour-level finals he had reached.
The Italian squandered five championship possibilities in the second set but recovered mentally to beat Alcaraz, the youngest player to break into the world’s top five since Rafa Nadal in 2005, 6-4 6-7(6) 6-4 in a thriller.
“For me it’s a dream. Obviously, I always dreamed about winning a title and I didn’t have any chances before,” said Musetti, who rose to a career-high ranking of 31. “It’s the first time, so I have no words to describe how it feels.
“The emotions I had today, I will keep it in my heart and my head for a long time.”
Musetti still got it In Umag
Fresh off winning in Hamburg, Lorenzo Musetti remained in top form at the Plava Laguna Croatia Open Umag on Tuesday. The 20-year-old earned a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 win against Slovakia’s Aljaz Bedene.
“I think I learned a lot from last week,” Musetti said post-match. “I think I grew up as a human being, as a professional player. There were a lot of difficult moments in this match, but I arrived in a positive way.
“That’s why I won today, because Aljaz was playing really good, especially in the second set and the beginning of the third. So, it was not easy for me to find a way to break his game.”