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Wimbledon semi-final second only to birth of my son – Lorenzo Musetti

The Italian defeated Taylor Fritz 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-2 3-6 6-1 in front of the Queen.

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Lorenzo Musetti celebrated the best day of his tennis life after triumphing in Wimbledon’s latest five-set rollercoaster to reach his first grand slam semi-final.

All the hype going into the tournament was around another 22-year-old Italian, Jannik Sinner, but it is Musetti rather than the world number one who is now within two victories of the trophy after a 3-6 7-6 (5) 6-2 3-6 6-1 win over Taylor Fritz.

Musetti was through to this stage at a slam for the first time but did not let the occasion blunt his wonderfully flamboyant game, riding the peaks and troughs of the crowd-pleasing encounter in front of the Queen, who swapped the Royal Box for Court One.

Musetti said of his royal audience: “I didn’t know about that because it was so crowded that I couldn’t see, not even my friends. So I’m really glad that she was there.

“I didn’t have the opportunity to meet her. Would be an honour for me to be playing in front of such a big person as her.

“Of course, for me it’s kind of a magic day. I have to say, after the birth of my son, I will put in the second position today. Of course, for my career, it is the best day of my life.

“I probably didn’t realise yet everything. I’m really surrounded by really good emotions. Really, really happy of what I’ve achieved today. Really happy of the way I fought until the end. I found a way to develop my game set after set.

Lorenzo Musetti stands with arms outstretched
Lorenzo Musetti soaks in his victory (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“It was really a big reaction from me in the fifth. I probably played my best tennis of this week.”

The Italian’s reward is a clash with seven-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic, who had the day off thanks to Alex De Minaur’s untimely injury.

The result was a huge blow to Fritz, who was playing in his fourth slam quarter-final but for the first time did not have to face either Djokovic or Rafael Nadal.

The American won the opening set comfortably but became increasingly fraught, shouting at his box in frustration as the contest slipped away.

The Queen, centre, joins in a Mexican wave on Court One
The Queen, centre, joins in a Mexican wave on Court One (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

He looked like he might have turned things around when he upped the aggression and took the fourth set but Musetti was inspired in the decider and sealed the win after three hours and 27 minutes.

Fritz, who won the warm-up tournament in Eastbourne, found it difficult to cope with the variety in Musetti’s game in the windy conditions, with the Italian’s one-handed backhand causing him problems throughout.

“I think the more times I’m just putting myself in situations deep in slams, I’m going to get more comfortable,” said Fritz.

“I am ready to win and go further. I think I played fine today. The most nervy I was honestly was in the first set, surprisingly.

“It was a tough match. He played well on some really big points. I didn’t serve as well as I probably needed to, or I guess as well as I have been.

“It was pretty windy today, so I felt like it was tough to kind of get that rhythm or timing. He played especially well in the fifth set.”

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