I will try to go as far as I can and get confidence back: Musetti

He is likely to face strong competition from top players like World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely.

Published: 30th January 2022 10:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th January 2022 10:42 PM   |  A+A-

Italy's Lorenzo Musetti during a match of the French Open. (Photo | AP file)

By PTI

PUNE: Emerging Italian star Lorenzo Musetti on Sunday said he is keen to make his mark in his debut appearance at the Tata Open Maharashtra tennis tournament, which begins here on Monday.

The 19-year-old second seed will start as one of the title contenders in the men's singles event in the fourth edition of South Asia's only ATP 250 event at the Balewadi Stadium here.

"I'm here to win matches. I will try to go as far as I can and get the confidence that I used to have," Musetti said during a virtual press conference on Sunday.

He is likely to face strong competition from top players like World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev and defending champion Jiri Vesely. Musetti suffered first-round defeats at the season opener Adelaide 1 event and Australian Open. "I played two good matches with two really great opponents. They showed they were playing best tennis and both the matches were close," he said.

A Roger Federer fan, Musetti is one of the few players in the world with a strong single-handed backhand and he said it came naturally.

Musetti had an impressive 2021 wherein he broke into the top-100, made Grand Slam debut and had two sets lead against the World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in a match at the French Open but retired in the fifth set.

He rated that match as one of the best of his career. "It helped me to understand a lot of things like I can be on that level and can reach there with my game. It was helpful especially for a young player who is coming on the tour. I hope to reach that level again and to play a lot of matches like that one," Musetti concluded.

Among the Indians, Yuki Bhambri and Prajnesh Gunneswaran will kick-start their campaign on Monday against Slovakia's Jozef Kovalik and fifth seeded Daniel Altamaier of Germany respectively.

The Delhi-born Bhambri had received a direct entry into the main draw while Asian Games medallist Gunneswaran had entered the tournament as a wildcard.

Apart from Bhambri and Gunneswaran, the tournament will also see the country's top-ranked player Ramkumar Ramanathan and local player Arjun Kadhe starting directly in the singles main draw.

Lithuanian highest ranked player Ricardas Berankis, who had a semi-final finish in the last edition, will also be seen in action as seven singles opening round matches will be played on Monday.

Berankis will be up against Halys Quentin of France.

Top-seeded Australian pair of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith will open their campaign against Stefano Travaglia and Bernabe Zapata Miralles as four doubles matches will take place on Day 1 of the main draw.

In the qualifying matches, played on Sunday, India's Sasikumar Mukund and Manish Sureshkumar suffered defeats in the first round.



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