Lorenzo Musetti denied destiny to Spanish teen Carlos Alcaraz with a struggling 6-4, 6-7(6), 6-4 title win on Sunday on his sixth match point in the ATP Hamburg final.
Spain’s Alcaraz, tipped as the heir apparent to countryman Rafael Nadal, put up an heroic fight in the second set as he saved five match-winners off the Musetti racquet – two as the Italian served for a straight-set win leading 5-4 in the second and three more in the ensuing tiebreak..
A break in the last game of the third set of the nearly three-hour Next-Gen epic finally wrapped up the clay marathon as Alcaraz sailed a backhand long.
“I tried to forgive myself all the match points, all the points where I couldn’t do it,” Musetti said.
He also paid respects to his rival: “You inspire me a lot, that’s why I think I did this, I sacrificed myself more, so I want to thank you for this.”
Had he won his fifth title this season, Alcaraz would have gone to fourth in the ATP rankings at age 19, following in the footsteps of Nadal.
As it stands, he will still land fifth on Monday’s list. Musetti will cut his ranking in half with 31st.
The final was the first for Musetti, who had never before played a one at the Tour level.
Alcaraz came to the court with four titles this season – including Masters 1000 honours at Miami and Madrid.
The defeat was only the Spaniard’s sixth of 2022 against 39 wins.
Main photo:- Lorenzo Musetti beat Carlos Alcaraz in Hamburg final ©ATPTour.com