Italian protagonists in Paris. In fact, with today’s results, and the victories of Lorenzo Sonego over Rublev and Lorenzo Musetti over Norrie, it is the seventh time in the Open Era that Italy has qualified two players for the round of 16 of the men’s singles at Roland Garros. Overall, in the Slams, it happened 13 times: 3 times in the time of Panatta, Barazzutti, Bertolucci and Zugarelli, and 10 times from 2018 onwards. It happened seven times at Roland Garros, three times at the Australian Open, twice at the US Open and once at Wimbledon. There have only been three once, at Roland Garros in 2021. The only drawback of the day was the defeat of Fabio Fognini who, after four hours of play, had to surrender to the Austrian Sebastian Ofner, confirmed to be a tough rival for anyone. The feat of the day was that of Sonego, who beat world number 7, precisely Rublev, in a match that was always in the balance despite the two sets of disadvantage for the blue. “I felt very close to him – explained Sonego – , I felt I could break him and this gave me great confidence. I knew it would have taken very little to overturn it. It has already happened to others to lose a set 6-0 and then still be able to win. But today to do it I had to do my best and play a great match”. “Certainly the experiences made in these years in the Grand Slams have helped me – he added -, especially the lost matches allow me to face the difficulties today in another way. Always fight and believe in it”.
As for Musetti, he still doesn’t lose a single set and plays good tennis. The one he showed allowed him to overcome the British Cameron Norrie, number 13 in the world, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, in two hours and eight minutes of play. Now for the Tuscan there will be a challenge which, regardless of the final result, will guarantee a show, against Carlos Alcaraz, the number 1 in the world, who defeated the Canadian Denis Shapovalov. On the same field where Musetti, the ‘Simonne Mathieu’, performed, there had previously been a women’s singles match at the end of which the winner, the Ukrainian Elena Svitolina, did not shake hands with her Russian opponent Anna Blinkova , yet another episode of a story that seems to have no end, and so it will be as long as there is war between the two countries. And this time too there were boos directed at Ukraine, even to a lesser extent than last Sunday’s for Marta Kostyuk. But the applause almost immediately ‘stifled’ the loud demonstrations of dissent for the Ukrainian gesture. Finally Novak Djokovic, who qualified for the round of 16 after 3 hours and 36′ of play against the Spanish Fokina Davidovich. But to make news, even here, the whistles. They have been addressed several times to the address of the former world number one, evidently not too loved in Paris but also for medical breaks, requested by ‘Djoko’ which the public did not like.
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