No less than four transalpine players are on the courts this Saturday during the third round of the men’s table. Focus.
If the veteran Fabio Fognini, fell Friday to the 3e turn, surprised by the Argentinian Fabio Fognini in three sets, the Italians are (again) at the party during these French Open. In 2020, at Roland Garros, five Azzurri slipped into the third round. Which was a first since 1955 and a record in the Open era. Jannick Sinner had continued the adventure until the quarterfinals. Same song this year with five Azzuri in the third round, including four in contention this Saturday. In the footsteps of Nicola Pietrangeli, (1959 and 1960) and Adriano Panatta (1976), the last transalpine winners at Porte d’Auteuil.
Marco Checchinato challenges prodigy Lorenzo Musetti
One thing is certain, there will already be an Italian in the round of 16. Checchinato – Musetti is a fight between generations between Checchinato, 28, and the prodigy Musetti, 18. The Palermo Cecchinato, then 72e world, had climbed to the semi-finals of the 2018 edition, knocking down Novak Djokovic in the process. He has never made a Grand Slam round at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open anywhere else! At Roland Garros, in addition to his brilliance, he had reached the 3e tour last year. He can do better in 2021, even if he doesn’t start as a favorite against the 2019 Junior Australian Open winner, Lorenzo Musetti. Coming out of qualifying in Rome in 2020, Musetti won his first two matches on the big circuit against Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori. Since then, the native of Carrara has entered the top 100 and for his first Grand Slam tournament, has already reached the mark of 3e tower. Not the last, of course.
Jannik Sinner can see far
Already announced as a future world number 1, the former skier suffered martyrdom to get rid of the obstacle Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the 1er while erasing a match point. He left another set on the way to the next round against his compatriot Gianluca Mager. He is sure to gain momentum: “Today, I think my level of tennis improved between the first round and the second round. Maybe that’s a big word, but of course it gave me a boost and I’m here to play the third round and I don’t think back anymore. I try to raise my level, to improve myself day after day. ” It will be Saturday against the Swede Mikael Ymer. First player born in XXIe century winner of a tournament on the main circuit (Sofia 2020), finalist of the Masters 1000 in Miami, Sinner was the youngest to reach the quarterfinals in Paris since Novak Djokovic in 2006 and the first to rally them for his first participation since a certain Rafael Nadal. Semi-finalist in Barcelona and valiant loser against Nadal in Rome, he continued his progression and entered the World Top 20 at 19.
Matteo Berrettini finds his best level
The Italian number 1 could find Roger Federer in the round of 16. Before that, it will already be necessary to do the work against the Korean Soomwoo Kwon to afford a first 8e final at Porte d’Auteuil. He left Roland Garros in the second round, last fall. Nine months later, the Roman impresses. The 9e world, quiet winner of Federico Coria (6–3, 6–3, 6–2), expressed his confidence of the moment: “Last year, I was not at the best time of my career, I had had a lot of injuries. It was not an easy year for anyone. When I looked around from a tennis point of view I only saw bubbles. Sometimes I was happy to play both tournaments, but it wasn’t the best atmosphere. Now I look forward to playing the next matches, the next tournaments because at the end of the day now I feel like I’m back. ” Patron of Italian tennis at 24. Roger Federer is warned.