Lorenzo Musetti stuns No. 1 Novak Djokovic in Monte Carlo

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Italian Lorenzo Musetti stunned World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the third round at the Monte Carlo Masters with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 win on Thursday to reach his second career ATP Masters 1000 quarterfinal.

In a match interrupted by rain, the 21-year-old Musetti broke Djokovic’s serve eight times in the two-hour, 54-minute match. With Djokovic leading 4-2 in the second set, Musetti shifted gears, and his aggressive play forced the Serbian into 11 unforced errors in the set and 23 overall.

Musetti had 28 winners and six unforced errors on the day.

“I am struggling not to cry,” Musetti said in an interview on the court following the match. “It is an emotional win because it was a really long match. Three-hour match and suspended by rain. It was not easy conditions because it was a little bit windy and cold. … I am struggling not to cry because it is a dream for me.”

Italian Jannik Sinner, the seventh seed, ousted 10th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz of Poland 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-1 and will face Musetti in the quarterfinals.

In other action, second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas cruised into the quarterfinals, topping Nicolas Jarry of Chile 6-3, 6-4.

For Tsitsipas, the match was a continuation of his dominance at the clay courts of Monte Carlo. The back-to-back defending champion, Tsitsipas moved his winning streak to 12 games with the 93-minute win over Jarry.

Tsitsipas won 80 percent of the points on his first serve and saved both break points. After the match, he was pleased with how he overcame his few adversities.

“I had to deal with a few (tough) points, especially when he had break points,” Tsitsipas said. “I dealt with those situations very maturely and played precisely, so it was great out there.”

Tsitispas moved to 14-2 overall in Monte Carlo. In the quarterfinals, he’ll face eighth-seeded Taylor Fritz, who came back from a set down to beat Czech Jiri Lehecka 4-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Third-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia also advanced, saving two match points while posting a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7) win over 13th-seeded Alexander Zverev of Germany.

Medvedev had a 5-3 lead in the third-set tiebreaker before Zverev rolled off three straight points. But a hitting error by Zverev kept the match alive.

Two points later, Zverev again failed to close out the match and Medvedev won the next three points to claim the victory.

Zverev also served for the match with 5-4 leads in both the second and third sets with Medvedev thwarting his attempts both times.

“That was a crazy match,” Medvedev said. “He served two times for the match, he probably should have done better, but that is also clay courts. I tried to watch a lot of tennis before playing this tournament, and one thing that I saw is you can come back at any moment.

“The serve doesn’t count as much, so as soon as someone gets a little bit tight, the match can turn around in one second. That’s what I managed to do.”

Medvedev had 31 winners and 18 unforced errors, while Zverev had 32 winners and 19 miscues.

Medvedev will next face sixth-seeded Holger Rune of Denmark. Rune moved on when Italy’s Matteo Berrettini withdrew due to an oblique injury.

Andrey Rublev, the fifth seed, eliminated ninth seed and fellow Russian Karen Khachanov 7-6 (4), 6-2 to advance. Rublev had to overcome the emotions of playing an old friend as well as the wind, and eventually found his groove, finishing with 22 winners and seven unforced errors against 14 and 11, respectively, for the ninth seed.

“We know each other too well. The first set was only mental. We didn’t show some tennis skills,” Rublev said. “But it was tough to show skills because the wind was really hard and the court was slippery and it was tough to do something. The first set was super mental. As soon as I was able to win a set, I started to feel more free and I felt Karen felt more down, so that was the difference.”

Rublev, who is looking for his first ATP Masters 1000, next will face meet Jan-Lennard Struff. The German qualifier upset fourth seed Casper Ruud 6-1, 7-6 (8) in one hour and 45 minutes to reach his first Masters 1000 quarter-final since Cincinnati in 2020.

–Field Level Media

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