Musetti advances to Wimbledon quarterfinals


LONDON (AP) — Lorenzo Musetti just needed a little time to adjust.

To life and to 6-foot-8 Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard’s serve.

Musetti advanced to the first Grand Slam quarterfinals of his career on Monday at Wimbledon by beating the 21-year-old Frenchman 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2.

Musetti joins No. 1 Jannik Sinner and women’s No. 7 Jasmine Paolini in collectively making Italian history: it’s the first time three Italians have reached the quarterfinals at the same Grand Slam.

The No. 25-seeded Musetti dropped to the grass when Mpetshi Perricard sent a forehand long to end a 30-stroke rally and the match. His back to the ground, the 22-year-old Italian’s chest heaved.

After an up-and-down season, Musetti is on quite a roll a the All England Club. He became a father in March.

“It’s been almost a year, really challenging with a lot of new experiences with the pregnancy of my girlfriend, and becoming a father. A lot of things happened and changed,” Musetti said in an on-court interview.

“I needed more time to find a balance on everything.”

He needed a set to find a balance on the hard-serving Mpetshi Perricard, who amassed 105 aces in three victories to reach the fourth round. Monday was his birthday.

Musetti converted five of 15 break point opportunities.

“Such a big day for me. I’m really happy and proud of this win against a really tough opponent. I struggled a little bit at the beginning — huge serve,” he said. “You can imagine how tough it is to return on that. I’m a little bit shaking still.”

Musetti will next face either No. 4 Alexander Zverev or No. 13 Taylor Fritz.

No. 9 Alex de Minaur reached his first Wimbledon quarterfinal by eliminating 20-year-old Arthur Fils of France 6-2, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The 25-year-old Australian will next face either seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic or No. 15 Holger Rune.

De Minaur was walking gingerly after closing out the match with a forehand volley winner.

“I’ll be alright. I’ll find a way,” he said in an on-court interview.

On the women’s side, No. 21 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine beat Wang Xinyu 6-2, 6-1 on a “ very difficult day ” for her home country. A major Russian missile attack across Ukraine killed dozens and injured more than 150 people, officials said.

Svitolina will play 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in the quarterfinals.

Rybakina, the No. 4 seed, advanced earlier Monday when Anna Kalinskaya retired in the second set because of an injury. Rybakina was leading 6-3, 3-0 when the 17th-seeded Kalinskaya stopped playing. Kalinskaya had taken a medical timeout in the first set, with attention paid to her neck and right forearm.

Rybakina has now won 18 of 20 matches in her career at the All England Club to join Ann Jones and Steffi Graf as the only players in the Open Era to have a 90% win rate in women’s singles at Wimbledon.

The 25-year-old Rybakina is the highest-seeded woman remaining in the draw.

“My serve helps me a lot and especially when the roof is closed there is no wind, no conditions, so it’s perfect for my game,” she said after hitting seven aces. “I’m really happy the way I played my last two matches, so really enjoying my time here.”

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