Lorenzo Musetti credits one big break for turning the tide in epic battle with Taylor Fritz

Lorenzo Musetti celebrates victory at Wimbledon
Lorenzo Musetti celebrates victory at Wimbledon

Lorenzo Musetti admitted that he feared the worst after tamely surrendering the first set of his Wimbledon quarter-final against Taylor Fritz.

However, a big moment in the second set instilled a great deal of self-belief in the Italian No 2.

Musetti defeated Fritz 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at the grass-court major on Wednesday, putting on perhaps the best Grand Slam display of his career thus far. In pulling off the incredible win, the 22-year-old made history as only the fourth Italian man to reach the semifinals in the gentlemen’s singles.

“I don’t think I’ve realised yet what I have done,” Musetti said in his on-court interview following his last eight triumph.

“I was talking with my team about how to play on the big stage… It was the first time I’ve had the opportunity to walk out on this amazing stadium and it’s been an honour for me.

“At the start of the match Taylor was really leading the game, especially with his serve and I couldn’t return well. In the second set I had a big reaction after breaking at the start and that changed my mind, my attitude. That probably made the difference and hopefully on Friday I will have the same one.”

The two-time ATP Tour titlist remained cool in the decisive set after Fritz took the fourth set with a break in the eighth game. The Italian surged to a double-break lead with some of his best tennis of the match before winning the quarterfinal in three hours and 27 minutes.

Musetti’s serve was the cornerstone of his success in his debut on the All England Club’s No 1 Court.

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The world No 25 won 76% (63/83) of points on his first serve, and his consistency let him express himself freely throughout the match beyond the first set when he had his greatest strugglers.

Musetti converted six of his 13 break points against one of the ATP Tour’s most powerful servers and defied expectations with a shock win that sees him progress to the biggest match of his career.

The match’s penultimate point exemplified Musetti’s ability to find his magic touch in the critical moments.

He executed a confounding drop shot, which Fritz bravely pursued only to jar his leg into the turf in the attempt and have the crowd fearing the match wouldn’t get a proper ending.

While Fritz got back up to face match point, the Italian converted and sealed a huge win.