If you had the experience of a technician like Darren Cahill or the words of a writer like David Foster Wallace, I would be able to tell you why the frantic wind that blows over the Flushing Meadows fields in the afternoon affects the performance of Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti so much. In the first set they suffer more than their respective opponents – who are the German Daniel Altmaier, ATP 93 in the real-time ranking (but number 53 only three months ago), and the Belgian already 7 in the world David Goffin – the unpredictable gusts that sweep the Louis Armstrong Stadium and field number 12. Having grown up on the Ligurian Sea to the west and east, in Bordighera and La Spezia where stormy days are not lacking, it was not enough to generate in the young Italian talents the sensitivity for the wind that is in the genes of their Nordic colleagues. But since they are awake kids, after an hour they learn what there is to learn and cancel the starting handicap.
The two matches are played almost simultaneously within a few hundred meters and have similar trends: once the first set is sold, both Jannik and Lorenzo take the second and third with confidence. In his career, the South Tyrolean has never faced Daniel, a Ukrainian father and a Russian mother, 23, who cut his teeth at Challenger level by often playing in Italy. After the exploit of Roland Garros autumn 2020, when in the third round he eliminated Matteo Berrettini in three sets (6-2 7-6 6-4), and the following season of adjustment, this year Altmaier dedicated himself to the circuit major with good results. Very skilled in the game of flying under the net, I predict his future as a protagonist as a doubler. I don’t have to tell you anything about David Goffin, except to remember that he is a class of 1990 to be counted among the most experienced players on the circuit by virtue of the six ATP tournaments won, the ATP Finals lost in London in the last act against Grigor Dimitrov in 2017 and of the four quarter-finals reached in the slams.
The biographical cards of today’s competitors of the numbers 1 and 3 of Italy serve to give the measure of the difference in values on the field, which is highlighted in the respective fifth sets, played after the German and the Belgian have easily reported below in the fractions. previous. Sinner has a difficult moment at the beginning of the final set, when he risks the break. He then he spreads. He finishes 5-7 6-2 6-1 3-6 6-1 in 3 hours and 35 minutes.
After three and a half hours Musetti is unable to express the brilliant game shown at times previously, he is nervous and foul. The wind, which has also calmed down, returns to annoy him when he is at the service. At 3-6 7-5 6-4 3-6 2-5 the fate of the match seems to be sealed. Instead, the pupil of Simone Tartarini takes advantage of the consequences of a tumbling under the net and some uncertainties of Goffin to recover the two breaks collected and reach 5 equal. As in football when tactical schemes are lost, everything now appears possible. The next two breaks – one each – are the starter of the decisive long tie break. Which sees Lorenzo always in pursuit until the kidney blow that leaves David salt: 11-9. The Carrarino throws himself on the ground after 4 hours and 36 minutes, exhausting and astonishing. Like last year, he reaches the second round of the US Open.
Two victories like this put us in a good mood in anticipation of the Davis Cup and the ATP Finals. At one time we were not used to thinking in terms of resilience, trust, the ability to suffer of our players. There were other characteristics of our best tennis players, and they were not always quality. If much has changed, the merit goes to those who at the end of the match on field 12 rejoice together with Lorenzo: the coaches and their collaborators, worthily represented by Tartarini, the federal structure dedicated to Umberto Rianna’s “overs”, the Azzurri staff with Filippo Volandri.
Inspired by the 20-year-olds, even the third Italian on the field today, Fabio Fognini, works the miracle. He starts badly against Aslan Karatsev, the Russian of Israeli training who amazed the world with some sensational results after the first pandemic lockdown. Having sold the first two sets, the former blue number 1 makes up for the next two and plays a perfect fifth set: 1-6 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-4 in 3 hours and 35 minutes. At the age of 35, the Ligurian will take away the satisfaction of playing again on Thursday in central New York. Against the player he perhaps knows best, Rafael Nadal.
#Sinner #Musetti #resilient #positive #winning