The tennis world has reacted with astonishment after Italian tennis star Lorenzo Musetti upset Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg European Open final.
Alcaraz, 19, was favourite to win his fifth ATP Title in 2022 having made the clay court final in Hamburg.
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However, 20-year-old Italian youngster Musetti put in a near ‘flawless’ display to defeat his younger rival 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Despite the defeat, Alcaraz will enter the top five of the world rankings for the first time.
He is the youngest player to do so since fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Musetti was in his first ATP final and is being talked in the same breath as Alcaraz as a potential future star of men’s tennis.
The tennis world was quick to recognise Musetti’s achievement with his first ATP title in what was a high-quality match.
Fans also recognised Alcaraz’s historic moment in reaching a top 5 ranking at the age of just 19.
Lorenzo Musetti wins Hamburg Open in dramatic fashion
The final was an epic, which saw Alcaraz saving a number of match points in the second set.
Musetti put his rival on the back foot by confidently taking the first set and had match point in the second set tiebreak, only to give away the stanza with a double fault.
But Musetti pounced on a break late on in the third set to reign supreme over a man who had won four tournaments already this year.
While Musetti pulled off the biggest win of his career, the match wasn’t without drama.
In the second set, Musetti appeared to arrive late to a drop shot that bounced twice.
However, the chair umpire missed it and Musetti won the point.
While it perturbed Alcaraz, he was able to clinch the second set to take it to a decider.
After the match, Musetti was full of praise for the young Spaniard.
“You inspire me a lot. That’s why I did this. I work harder,” he said after the match.
“Tennis TV put our videos of three years ago, when we were still kids playing challengers. We are still young but we both played better.”
Musetti became the 10th first time ATP title winner in 2022, which signals a huge shift in younger stars coming through the ranks.
The Italian will now enter the World Top 50.
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