• December 10, 2023

Young Italian Men are Taking Over the French Open. They Have No Idea Why.

You don’t play much like Fognini either. Fognini is a classic counterattack. He strolls across the courtyard, taking his time before serving or returning. He cuts, hits and hits his forehand during the same point, waiting for the smallest opening and then jumping.

On Thursday, Sinner played as always. All afternoon he attacked another Italian, Gianluca Mager, who was 87th, from the back half of the field with darts on the sidelines.

Berrettini, who is 6 feet 5 tall, is leading with his booming serve, which has clocked at 146 mph. He pushes himself onto the pitch and collects a lot of points on the net. He also has a very effective backhand dropshot.

Musetti is strong almost everywhere on the court, with a museum-quality one-handed backhand, a nice low to high shot that lets the ball fly off the racket. Opponents apparently won a point after pinning it deep on the backhand side and then seeing a laser plunge into the corner at the end.

“He’s got a lot of shots,” said the fifth-placed player in the world, Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, of Musetti after beating him in Mexico in March. “He just has to work a little more on his serve.”

Musetti said he spent much of spring doing this to make it less predictable.

The work seems to be worth it. Musetti has not yet lost a sentence here. In the third set on Thursday, his opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka from Japan, who was six years older, kicked his racket over the sand and threw his cap.

“I’m not trying to explain that,” said Musetti after the win. In the third round he meets another Italian, Marco Cecchinato, who is 83rd.

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