Is this the week Lorenzo Musetti captures his first trophy of the year?
The 21-year-old Italian advanced to his third tour-level semi-final of the season on Sunday when he moved past Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech 6-3, 6-3 at the Chengdu Open.
The second seed played with flair throughout the one-hour, 28-minute clash, striking 32 winners at the ATP 250 hard-court event. He timed the ball cleanly off both wings and hit an array of acute angles to outmanoeuvre Rinderknech.
“It was a step forward from yesterday,” Musetti said. “Yesterday’s match gave me a lot of confidence and today I started very well, breaking him immediately and that was the key to my win. A really solid performance from the baseline and I am really happy to be in the semi-finals.”
Musetti, who won two tour-level titles in 2022, will next meet Roman Safiullin. The World No. 55 advanced to his first semi-final of the season after Jordan Thompson was forced to retire after Safiullin had won the first set 7-6(1). Musetti’s best results of the season were semi-final runs in Barcelona and Bastad.
Alexander Zverev also advanced, defeating Miomir Kecmanovic 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. The German is currently seventh in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin and will be aiming for a strong Asian Swing to boost his hopes of qualifying for the Nitto ATP Finals, an event he has won twice.
Zverev was pushed hard throughout the three-hour clash against Karatsev, but found his best level in the third set. He did not commit an unforced error to reach his seventh tour-level semi-final of the year.
The German will next play Grigor Dimitrov, who ousted Christopher O’Connell 6-4, 6-1. The Bulgarian has enjoyed a special week, earning his 400th tour-level victory in the second round. He is trying to secure his first title since the 2017 Nitto ATP Finals.