Young Italian men are capturing the French Open. Why don’t they have any idea.


They also don’t play much like Fognini. Fognini is a classic counterpuncher. He circles around the court, taking his time before serving or returning. He will bite, hit and flick his forehand during the same point, wait for the slightest opening and then pounce.

On Thursday, Sinner played as usual. All afternoon he attacked another Italian, 87th-ranked Gianluca Mager, with darts from the back half of the court to the edge.

Berrettini, who is 6-foot-5, leads the way with his fast-paced service, which has been clocked at speeds of up to 146 mph. He works his way up the court and scores a lot of points on the net. He also has a highly effective backhand drop shot.

Musetti is strong almost everywhere on the court, with a museum-quality one-handed backhand, a graceful, low-to-high stroke that makes the ball fly off his racket. Opponents have won a point after pinning him deeply towards his backhand, then are eliminated after witnessing a laser dive into the corner.

“He has a lot of shots,” Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, world number five, said about Musetti after he beat him in Mexico in March. “He just has to do a little work on his service.”

Musetti said he spent most of the spring doing this, trying to make it less predictable.

The work seems to be paying off. Musetti hasn’t lost a set here yet. By the third set on Thursday, his opponent, Yoshihito Nishioka of Japan, older than six, was kicking his racket across the clay and throwing his hat.

“I’m not trying to explain it,” Musetti said after the win. He faces another Italian, Marco Cecinato, ranked 83, in the third round.

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