Lorenzo Musetti: ‘Marin Cilic is stronger than me, he pushed me two meters back’

A teenager Lorenzo Musetti has been the leader of the pack for the 2002 generation so far, cracking the top-100 following a brilliant Acapulco run that saw him reaching the semis as a qualifier. The youngster toppled Diego Schwartzman and Grigor Dimitrov en route to the last four, where Stefanos Tsitsipas beat him in straight sets. Heading to Miami, the Italian defeated Michael Mmoh and Benoit Paire to reach the third round, enjoying another successful week before falling to Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-4 in an hour and 14 minutes. Marin proved to be too strong for the young gun, losing 13 points in ten service games and never getting broken. The Croat secured one break in each set to seal the deal and move into the last 16. Pleased about how he performed at these two tournaments, Musseti said there is still a lot of work to be done en route to the top, praising his rival and admitting that he overpowered him in many segments, pushing him back and dictating the pace. 

Lorenzo Musetti scored five ATP wins in the last two weeks.

“I think I played on my highest level these weeks. The experience I got from these weeks is incredible, having a chance to compete against notable and established rivals. Sometimes we saw that I could even beat them. Facing guys like Marin Cilic, there are no second chances; you have to take the first one. Even in challenging moments, those experience players know how to bring their best tennis, and you have to match that to beat them. It’s not easy for me, as I play at this level for the first time. But I am getting used to it, and I learned a lot during these two weeks. Now I will go home and try to put on the practice court what I have learned.

I have to be strong at this level because I was pushed almost two meters back, outplayed by Marin, who is bigger and stronger than me. I need to grow and work out to get to this level physically. I will try to play closer to the baseline and work on the same things that I am working with the forehand, control the rallies, be aggressive and move to the net quickly. I will practice and train physically because I played a lot in these three weeks; I will try to recover and adapt to the physical conditions on clay because the movement and slides are different,” Lorenzo Musetti said.

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