“GOAT For Me”: Lorenzo Musetti Reveals How He Came to Love Roger Federer After Initially Idolizing Rafael Nadal

Published 04/21/2021, 5:22 AM EDT
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 09: Roger Federer of Switzerland plays a volley during practice ahead of the Nitto ATP Finals at The O2 Arena on November 09, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)


Rising Italian tennis star Lorenzo Musetti has opened up on his idol in the sport. The 19-year-old said that he had a childhood admiration for Rafael Nadal but later became an avowed fan of Roger Federer.

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Speaking to Spanish publication Marca, Musetti said that what he liked about Nadal as a child apart from his being left-handed was his court gestures and the manner in which he motivates himself with chants like ‘Vamonos’ (let’s go).

“At first, my idol was Nadal, perhaps due to the fact of being left-handed and because as a child you like to see someone with their gestures on the court, who says, ‘let’s go’,” Musetti said, adding that he has “great respect” for the Spaniard.

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Roger Federer of Switzerland shakes hands with Rafael Nadal of Spain after defeating him in the Men’s Singles Semi Final at The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championship at the All England Lawn and Tennis Club at Wimbledon on in London, England. (Photo by Simon Bruty/Anychance/Getty Images)

Musetti says he became a Roger Federer fan because of his one-handed backhand

The Italian, who is currently ranked 87th in singles, said that he later became a huge fan of the Swiss champion as he came to identify himself with his signature single-handed backhand. He added that Federer’s elegance of strokeplay sets him poles apart from the rest, and his understated grace and charm make him a role model across generations.

The Italian further said that the sheer longevity of the 39-year-old Swiss and his wealth of accomplishments over all the years that he has been in the professional circuit makes him the greatest of all time (GOAT) in his eyes.

“I switched to Federer because I identify with his one-handed backhand. He is the GOAT for me for what he has achieved and for his elegant way of playing. He is a role model both on and off the track,” Musetti said.

(Quotes have been translated with Google Translate)

The 19-year-old Italian himself on the professional stage with a semi-final run at the Mexican Open in Acapulco. He upset the likes of American Frances Tiafoe and current World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman on the way to sealing passage to the last four. However, his dream run ended in the semis as he crashed to a straight-set loss to eventual runners-up Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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Musetti followed up his Acapulco campaign with a third-round loss in Miami, a quarter-final appearance at Sardegna Open, a home claycourt event, and a second-round defeat at the Monte-Carlo Masters.

He opened his Barcelona Open campaign with a 6-4, 6-3 win over veteran Spaniard Feliciano Lopez on Wednesday.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

835 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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