Coming off a showdown with Dusan Lajovic, topped moreover by two match points against him, Lorenzo Musetti remains competitive and also overcame the Emiil Ruusuvuori hurdle on the clay of Hamburg. The talented Italian needed seven match points to bend the Finnish tennis player’s resistance and at least reach the top-eight plank in the German ‘500’.
For ‘Muso’ it will be the fourth quarter in the season against specialist Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, a finalist this season in Monte-Carlo. The Italian plays a match of extraordinary quality, especially in the first fraction.
After a break in the first game and a 15-40 in the second, his first with the serve, he jumps out to a 2-0 lead and controls the action from the baseline. The Finnish tries to rally, but he recovers to 5-4 and secures the top file thanks in large part to his serve, which accounts for 16 of 17 points and is obviously the most effective shot he has.
Musetti, who plays the role of predator throughout, falters at 5-3, a small but significant step from the finish line, but ultimately adds only a few moments of suspense to the climax. As a matter of fact, Ruusuvuori recovers, draws even at 5-5, and wins the first six match points he has, but still loses in a close match by a score of 6-3, 7-5.
Awaiting the Italian in the quarters is Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who got rid of Josef Kovalik without too much difficulty with a very clear 6-2 6-2.
Without playing, Paolini is sent to the quarters in a Wta at Palermo.
Andrey Rublev wins and convinces, defeating Ricardas Berankis in a tense 6-3, 6-4 match, but the list of surprises ends with Pablo Carreno Busta’s loss to Alex Molcan in the deciding set’s tiebreak.
Due to an injury, Jasmine Paolini replaces Shuai Zhang. With no further competition required, the Tuscan advances directly to the quarterfinals, where she will meet the victor of the upcoming match between Elisabetta Cocciaretto and Caroline Garcia.
Third day in Palermo, not much to report; schedule shifts for Thursday, though. Getty Images/Thinkstock