Next Up for Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal At The French Open - Two Italian Prodigies - UBITENNIS
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Next Up for Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal At The French Open – Two Italian Prodigies

At one of the biggest tournaments in tennis Lorenzo Musetti and Jannik Sinner continue to impress. So much so that even the greats of the sport are wary about playing them.




Lorenzo Musetti (image via

A lack of experience failed to hold back Lorenzo Musetti from outlasting compatriot Marco Cecchinato in what was a roller-coaster encounter at the French Open.


The 18-year-old had never played a five-set match in his career before the tournament but still managed to prevail 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, after more than three hours of play. It was an impressive performance for a player who had never played in the main draw of a Grand Slam before. The latest win has now moved Musetti into the fourth round of Roland Garros which makes him only the sixth male player since 2000 to reach the last 16 of a major on his debut.

“I was really satisfied at the end. It was a mix of tension and I was a little bit tired,” Musetti commented on his feelings afterwards. “I mean, it was my first time playing in the fifth (set).”

Born in the Italian city of Carrara, Musetti’s rapid rise on the Tour hasn’t gone unnoticed. He didn’t break into the world’s top 200 until September last year but is now currently ranked 76th. The youngster is yet to win an ATP trophy but has reached the semi-finals of tournaments in Acapulco and Lyon this season.

Billed as one of the future stars of the game, Musetti has an opportunity to show the world how much talent he has at the French Open where he is set to lock horns with Novak Djokovic on Monday. The two have previously trained together with the world No.1 telling reporters on Saturday that he ‘really likes’ how his younger peer plays.

“He’s got a lot of firepower from both forehand and backhand. He can play with a lot of spin. He’s got a great feel, come to the net. He can play short balls, drop shots. He can flatten out his serve. He can open up with a good kick and slice. He’s got really all-around game,” Djokovic said following his win over Ričardas Berankis.
“I know very much so that he is a big challenge to me. So there is no question I have to go out playing on a high level, because he will not have much to lose. I’m sure he’s gonna come out and really try to play tennis of his life playing on one of the two big courts.”

Of course Musetti isn’t the only rising star emerging from his country. Jannik Sinner is a year older than him and is the only player under the age of 21 in the top 20. It was at Roland Garros last year where he made waves reaching the quarter-finals on his debut in a milestone that was last achieved by Rafael Nadal. He already has two ATP titles to his name and played in the final of a Masters 1000 event in Miami.

Jannik Sinner (image via

Sinner joined his compatriot in the fourth round by beating Sweden’s Mikhail Ymer in straight sets. Making it the first time since 2006 two teenagers have reached the last 16 of the tournament. Next up for him is what many described as the ultimate challenge of Roland Garros – playing Nadal.

“In one way tough, tough to play against them (the Big Three). On the other way, I think it’s good that we play against them. It’s in one way a good test. I have played twice already against Rafa. This time is going to be a little bit different.” Said Sinner.

It will be the second French Open in a row Sinner has to play the Spaniard. In 2020 he was the only player to have a set point against Nadal in the tournament but was unable to convert that opportunity. Since then, they have clashed in Rome with the world No.3 prevailing 7-5, 6-4.

Jannik is not the best fourth round (match-up), without a doubt he’s a dangerous one,” admits Nadal. “He’s young. He’s a great player.’
“I need to be ready to play at very high level of tennis, to have chances to be in the quarterfinals, and I gonna fight for it.”

The two matches are very much a case of the Tour giants taking on the next generation of men’s tennis. Undoubtedly Djokovic and Nadal remain the heavy favourites to win their upcoming encounters. Although there is a general feeling that the rise of the two young Italians is something that will continue to blossom over the coming years.

Me and Jannik, I think we are the future of Italian tennis, and tennis in general,” Musetti proclaims. “Of course he’s a bit more forward than me (in my career).’
“I’m just living what he was living like last year, so we are growing up together. We are playing every week now together. I finally entered the Tour. That was my goal.”

Musetti and Sinner are two of only three players aged 19 or under currently in the ATP top 100. The other is world No.97 Carlos Alcaraz who lost in the third round of the French Open to Jan-Lennard Struff.


Daniil Medvedev Searching For Confidence Boost Ahead Of Wimbledon

The two-time Grand Slam finalist says he is not the same player as he was two years ago when he last played Wimbledon.




When it comes to playing on the grass this year Daniil Medvedev admits that the biggest issue for him might concern the mental side of the sport as opposed to the physical side.


The world No.2 kicked-off his grass swing last week in Halle where he was stunned in the first round by Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the Tour in 2020, that was the first time the Russian had played a match on the surface in almost two years. Short on matches, Medvedev is back in action this week in Mallorca after taking a wildcard into the tournament.

“I like to play on grass, I just need to get some confidence in my game on the surface, because we didn’t play [on it] for two years. Two years ago, I was not the same player as I am right now,” Medvedev told “It is tough for me to say where I see myself, but I know I can play very good on this surface. I just need to find the right balance.”

Since he last played at Wimbledon, Medvedev surged on the ATP Tour by winning six titles with all of them being on a hardcourt. Furthermore, he also reached the final of the US Open in 2019 and the Australian Open this year. He is the first player outside of the Big Four to be ranked in the world’s top two since July 2005.

Despite his previous success on the grass, Medvedev admits he remains wary about playing on the surface and the conditions he may face.

“When I started playing on grass, I played in Challengers and even in [ATP] Tour tournaments on the outside courts, not on the central courts, and I can tell that the central courts are quite slow,” he said. “Especially the match I played with Gilles Simon at Queen’s [Club], we had rallies of 40 shots every second point. That is what makes it a little bit tougher.
“When I practise on practice courts, I feel like I am playing so good as the ball is so fast. Then I come onto the centre court to play the match, and the ball just stops after the bounce, and you have to adapt your game, so it can be tough. But I know I can play really well on grass.”

In Mallorca Medvedev has a bye in the first round. His opening match will be against either South Africa’s Lloyd Harris or France’s Corentin Moutet.

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Unseeded Ugo Humbert Becomes First Player In Over A Decade To Win Halle On Debut

The 22-year-old fired nine aces and 29 winners to claim his first ATP 500 title.




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France’s Ugo Humbert has clinched his maiden ATP title on the grass after defeating Andrey Rublev in straight sets at the Noventi Open in Halle.


Humbert remained unbroken throughout his 6-3, 7-6(4), win over the Russian fourth seed who has won more matches on the ATP Tour than any other player since the start of 2020 (74). The Frenchman was particularly impressive behind serve where he won 83% of his first service points and 55% on his second. It is the first time he has beaten Rublev on the Tour after losing to him on two previous occasions in 2019 (Monte Carlo) and 2020 (St. Petersburg).

“It’s incredible,” said Humbert. “The best victory of my career. I’m very proud because it wasn’t easy, I was a little but tired today but I tried to stay focused on each point. It’s very nice.”

The triumph concludes what has been a marathon week in Halle for the 22-year-old. En route to the final he had to come through four three-set matches where he scored wins over Sam Querrey, Alexander Zverev, Sebastian Korda and Felix-Auger Aliassime. Becoming only the second player in Halle’s 28-year history to have reached the final by playing only three-set matches.

Meanwhile, runner-up Rublev paid tribute to his opponent following their clash. The world No.7 is now 1-2 in finals played so far this season after winning Rotterdam before losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas in Monte Carlo. To put that into perspective, in 2020 he won all six finals he played in.

“I have often told my coach that you play in an incredible way,” he said. “You have everything to be a very great player. So keep working, doing everything you do. You play very well, you have incredible shots. I wish you a great career.”

Humbert, who won two ATP titles last year in Auckland and Antwerp, is the first player to win Halle on the debut since 2010. On that occasion Lleyton Hewitt prevailed over Roger Federer in the final. He is now projected to rise to a ranking high of 25 on Monday when the ATP standings are officially updated.

The Frenchman will be hoping that he can continue his winning streak heading to Wimbledon where he reached the fourth round back in 2019. His best ever result in a Grand Slam to date.

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David Goffin Out Of Wimbledon Following Halle Accident

It has been reported that the unfortunate injury he suffered is ‘more serious’ than a sprain.




David Goffin has been forced to withdraw from Wimbledon after suffering an ankle injury during the Noventi Open earlier this week.


The former top 10 player was taking on Corentin Moutet in Halle where he slipped on the grass and subsequently hurt his right ankle. Forcing the Belgian to retire from the match at the start of the third set. Providing an update on Goffin’s health, agent Martin Roux said he is unsure how long he will be absent from the Tour for.

“Yes, David has officially withdrawn from Wimbledon following his ankle injury in Halle. For the moment we do not know more about the exact duration of unavailability, ” Roux told “He is of course disappointed to miss a Grand Slam tournament, especially since he had recovered well on grass before his injury. “

Elaborating further, Roux confirmed Goffin’s injury is ‘more serious’ than a sprain and tests are ongoing to assess the extent of the damage which has been caused to the ankle. It is not the first time he has suffered a freak accident on the court. During the 2018 Rotterdam Open he hurt his eye after a tennis ball rebounded into his face, forcing him to pull out of Marseille and Indian Wells that year.

“David told me that it was more serious than a minor sprain, after exams in Belgium.”Roux added. “The ankle has not yet deflated (stopped swelling). David realizes that ice and bandages won’t be enough to play. The ligaments must be affected in one way or another. The idea is to do new exams at the end of the week in order to then have a healing protocol, especially since after Wimbledon the Olympic Games will arrive quickly. These are now his next goals. “

The 30-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 14-13 so far in 2021 and won his fifth ATP title in Montpellier. He has also reached the semi-finals in Antalya and quarter-finals in Monte Carlo. However, recently Goffin has struggled on the Tour with Halle being the fifth tournament in a row where he has failed to win back-to-back matches.

Goffin is currently ranked 13th in the world.

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