World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas easily beat Lorenzo Musetti earlier this year but he insists he won’t be taking the Italian for granted when they meet on Saturday.
Tsitsipas, seeded at No. 2 in the Lyon main draw, handed a 6-3 6-4 loss to Yoshihito Nishioka on Friday to reach the semifinal at the tournament.
Tsitsipas broke Nishioka in the sixth game, before serving out for the opener in the ninth game.
The Greek then broke the Japanese in the third game of the second set and served out for the match in the 10th game to set up a Musetti clash.
In the Acapulco semifinal in March, Tsitsipas handed a 6-1 6-3 loss to Musetti.
“We played in different conditions [and] on a hard court,” said Tsitsipas, per the ATP website.
“The conditions here are different. We share similar games with a one-handed backhand, which is beautiful to see. Tomorrow is going to be serious business and I know he can play well on this surface and elevate his game.”
Musetti shows respect for Tsitsipas
Musetti, ranked at No. 88 in the world, handed a 6-3 7-6 (2) loss to Aljaz Bedene to make the Lyon semifinal.
“He is one of the best guys on Tour,” said Musetti on Friday. “Acapulco was really tough for me as I played a lot of matches and I didn’t have enough energy to play 100 per cent. He served really well, and he played well with the forehand, moving me around a lot. I will try to lead the match and try not have him dominate me.”
Tsitsipas reveals he has been following Musetti and he expects “big things” from the rising Italian star.
“I have been following his performances, he has been improving a lot and has a good record on clay, beating some good opponents,” said Tsitsipas. “I expect big things for him.”