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Hamburg European Open: Musetti stuns Alcaraz to lift first Tour title

The 20-year-old Italian let slip five championship points in the second set before showed his mental fortitude against Alcaraz and won the match.

IANS | Hamburg |

Lorenzo Musetti won the Hamburg European Open title after stunning top seed Carlos Alcaraz of Spain 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 in an intense final here on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Italian let slip five championship points in the second set before showed his mental fortitude against Alcaraz and won the match in two hours and 47 minutes.

“I have no words because it was a roller-coaster until the end. I had so many match points. Carlos was so good on the match points, (I had) so many chances,” Musetti said in his on-court interview.

“But I think the key of the match was to keep calm and [have] all the patience [with] myself because it was really not easy. Carlos was putting so much effort in the match points when he was down, so it was not easy to find the energy to come back. But I cannot describe what I am feeling right now. I think I am still dreaming.”

“Of course I was really upset, but I tried to not show my opponent my reaction. I tried to forgive (myself for) all the match points and all the points [when] I couldn’t do it,” Musetti was quoted as saying by ATP Tour website.

“I think that was the most (important) thing, even for me, because I didn’t expect the win after all this roller-coaster, so I’m super happy to be here and to be the champion.”

Musetti let slip two championship points while serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set and held another three in the ensuing tie-break, including two on his serve. But instead of letting the lost opportunity deflate him, he battled hard in the decider to lift the trophy, falling to the clay after Alcaraz missed a final shot long.

This was the first ATP Head to Head clash between Musetti and Alcaraz. The Italian will climb to a career-high World No. 31 on Monday.

It was clear from early in the match that Musetti was going to throw all his skill at the Spaniard. He played aggressively from the baseline, moved into the net when given the opportunity and kept the five-time ATP Tour titlist off balance with plenty of variety in spin and pace.

Alcaraz was not at his flying best in the championship clash, making uncharacteristic errors, but that was in part because his opponent kept him guessing and he was unable to find rhythm.

Musetti earned the critical break of the first set at 3-3, moving ahead 4-3 when Alcaraz missed a backhand into the net. The Italian then closed out the opener with a forehand approach winner and showed laser focus in his calm reaction to his team.