Monday, July 15, 2024

Musetti makes it 3 Italians in Wimbledon quarterfinals


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London, July 8: Lorenzo Musetti just needed a little time to adjust. To life and to 6-foot-8 Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard’s serve.
Musetti advanced to the first Grand Slam quarterfinals of his career on Monday at Wimbledon by beating the 21-year-old Frenchman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.
Musetti joins No. 1 Jannik Sinner and women’s No. 7 Jasmine Paolini in collectively making Italian history: it’s the first time three Italians have reached the quarterfinals at the same Grand Slam.
The No. 25-seeded Musetti dropped to the grass when Mpetshi Perricard sent a forehand long to end a 30-stroke rally and the match. His back to the ground, the 22-year-old Italian’s chest heaved.
After an up-and-down season, Musetti is on quite a roll at the All England Club. He became a father in March.
“It’s been almost a year, really challenging with a lot of new experiences with the pregnancy of my girlfriend, and becoming a father. A lot of things happened and changed,” Musetti said in an on-court interview.
“I needed more time to find a balance on everything.”
He needed a set to find a balance on the hard-serving Mpetshi Perricard, who amassed 105 aces in three victories to reach the fourth round. Monday was his birthday.
Musetti converted five of 15 break-point opportunities.
“Such a big day for me. I’m really happy and proud of this win against a really tough opponent. I struggled a little bit at the beginning – huge serve,” he said.
“You can imagine how tough it is to return on that. I’m a little bit shaking still.”
Musetti will next face either No. 4 Alexander Zverev or No. 13 Taylor Fritz.
No. 9 Alex de Minaur reached his first Wimbledon quarterfinal by eliminating 20-year-old Arthur Fils of France 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
The 25-year-old Australian will next face either seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic or No. 15 Holger Rune.
De Minaur was walking gingerly after closing out the match with a forehand volley winner.
“I’ll be alright. I’ll find a way,” he said in an on-court interview.
On the women’s side, No. 21 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Wang Xinyu 6-2, 6-1 on a “ very difficult day “ for her home country.
A major Russian missile attack across Ukraine killed dozens and injured more than 150 people, officials said.
Svitolina will play 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals.
Rybakina, the No. 4 seed, advanced earlier Monday when Anna Kalinskaya retired in the second set because of an injury.
Rybakina was leading 6-3, 3-0 when the 17th-seeded Kalinskaya stopped playing. Kalinskaya had taken a medical timeout in the first set, with attention paid to her neck and right forearm.
Rybakina has now won 18 of 20 matches in her career at the All-England Club to join Ann Jones and Steffi Graf as the only players in the Open Era to have a 90% win rate in women’s singles at Wimbledon.
The 25-year-old Rybakina is the highest-seeded woman remaining in the draw. (AP)


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