Lorenzo Musetti became the 10th title of the season on the ATP Tour for the first time on Sunday by winning a thrilling European Open Hamburg final against Carlos Alcaraz 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-4 .
The Italian dropped five championship points in the second set but managed to ride out the Alcaraz storm in the third set to lift the ATP 500 trophy.
ATPTour.com spoke to the 20-year-old after the match about his breakthrough, his relationship with his coach, Simone Tartarini, why he idolized his grandfather and his pre-match playlist.
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What does winning your first ATP Tour title mean to you?
For me it is a dream. Obviously, I always dreamed of winning a title and I had no chance before. I think my best result was a semi-final, so I never had the chance to play a final. I’m really happy with this week. I think we did an amazing job and now we will celebrate and enjoy it for the next few days, but we have to focus on Umag and the rest of the year.
What went through your mind after the second set and how were you able to fight back?
It was a really tough loss in the second set. I think I deserved to close the match in straight sets, but there were some unlucky things [happened] and Carlos was very good saving so many match points. I was mad at myself with everything, but I tried to find the solution and the solution was to find the rhythm and the energy. That’s what I did. I’m really glad I never gave up and it worked out in the end.
You had such a good start to your career, but you hadn’t made a final until this week. How focused were you on lifting a trophy?
I never had the chance to go to the final and now to get to the final and lift the trophy is something really fantastic for me. It’s the first time, so I have no words to describe how it feels. It’s something you always dream of when you’re a kid, when you work and sacrifice. The emotions that I had today, I will keep them for a long time in my heart and in my head.
Watch the final highlights:
You mentioned that you arrived here a little sick and without luggage. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
I arrived here on Thursday from Bastad and with all the strikes, one of my luggage [bags] got lost. [It was] the one with the racquets, so I was a bit worried about how I would play, because I was still in qualifying. Then I walked in [the main draw]so I managed to pick up the snowshoes.
The day before the games started, I vomited all night. I had food poisoning, so I felt a little sick. I didn’t expect to go this far, so I’m glad my luck changed in this tournament.
You have often spoken of your relationship with your coach, Simone Tartarini. How important was your growth as a player and as a person?
Me and Simone are one thing together. We really have this particular feeling. He’s more than a coach and a player, he’s like a father and his son. I consider him my second father and I have always believed in him as a person and as a tennis coach.
He always tried to improve me on and off the pitch and to educate me in the best way. That’s what I need to be competitive like I was today. I just want to thank him for all the support he gave me.
You said your grandfather was your hero. Can you explain why?
My grandfather was a really honest man, a genuine man, and I want to be like him in the future. It’s sad because he passed away a long time ago so he can’t see what I’ve become. Sometimes it’s hard to think about it, but I would like to describe him as my hero.
Watch the Hamburg 2022 story:
Now that you have won a title, what is your next goal and why?
I have to win next week! To win next week and try to win more and more. To try to play even better than today, try to grow and try to have the capacity to maintain this level during the year. Hopefully there will be more and more lifting trophies.
What do you consider to be your greatest passion outside of tennis and can you tell us a bit more about that interest?
I always like to listen to music. I’m always with my headphones and my speaker in the room and I’m always traveling with so much about music. I have always had the passion since I was a child.
Probably my father passed on to me the passion for music since I was a child, especially early music. Not [music from] my age, [but] 80s or 90s rock and stuff like that. I wish one day to go to a concert of a rock artist because I did not have the opportunity. I think my first passion outside of tennis is of course music.
You said how much you listen to classic rock music. What were the songs on your playlist before today’s match?
Before the game, I have my own pre-game playlist. I think it’s one of my favorite bands, Linkin Park. Today I listened to a lot of Linkin Park songs. The most memorable was Papercut because it gave me a kind of extra energy during the warm-up.
You have already accomplished so much at only 20 years old. What is the most important lesson you have learned in your career so far?
This hard work pays off and you can never expect things. When you expect things, they won’t happen. When you don’t expect it and you just work for it, it will come. I think that’s the most important thing for me.
How are you going to celebrate your first title?
Probably with a dinner with my team, but not a big party as we are going to fly tomorrow to Umag. We must be Italian, but not too much.