Lorenzo Musetti, marble backhand and a hidden dream: “I wanted to be an actor”
Is there art in sport and tennis? Yes, of course there is. Is there marble in a backhand? Well, that sounds a bit strange, although when you delve into the life of Lorenzo Musetti, the great promise of Italian tennis, you understand a little better: that marble is made of Carrara, and it is the material in which many of his fans dream of immortalising one of the best backhands on the tour.
“It’s fun, something that makes me smile. But for me it’s just a backhand,” Lorenzo Musetti said during an interview with CLAY. The Italian, born in Carrara, the city famous worldwide for its high quality marble quarries, is 18th in the ATP rankings, his best position. After a 2022 in which he won titles in Hamburg and Naples and a 2023 in which he was able to beat Novak Djokovic, the future looks promising. Logical: he is only 21 years old.
Interview with Lorenzo Musetti
– Why a one-handed backhand when so many opt for a two-handed backhand?
– Because it was very natural from the first time I touched a racket. My father liked it a lot, he is a fan of the one-handed backhand and he never changed it.
– When people compare your backhand to a work of art, carrara marble, what do you think?
– It’s funny, something that makes me smile. But for me it’s just a backhand. It’s not for me to judge, it’s the fans who give those compliments.
– Have you ever tried to hit him with two hands, or not even tried it?
– I don’t think it’s any good. Always one-handed.
– Can you improve that backhand, or is it already perfect?
– (laughs) No no, everything can be improved in life. And in tennis, above all.
– If you hadn’t been a tennis player, what would you have been?
– An actor! I wanted to be an actor. It’s a bit different from being a tennis player, but it has other similar things: an actor carries a lot of pressure, has stressful moments. In another life maybe!
– Did you take acting classes, did you get close to that world, did you try it out?
– I took part in a show, but it was very amateurish.
– You didn’t get to play with Federer, you played with Djokovic and you beat him. You haven’t played Nadal yet. Can you imagine that match, do you think about it? Because it will happen sometime, won’t it?
– Yes, yes, yes, yes, for sure. My dream was to play Federer, but he retired. I played with him in practice, but it’s not the same thing to test yourself and get on the court against a legend like that. I think it’s going to be the same with Nadal, I hope I don’t play him on clay, because it’s going to be difficult, but they are matches you will never forget.
– Nadal could see in you a Federer. A player with a one-handed backhand, hitting high drives to your backhand…
– Yes, it’s difficult to compare tennis players. All the games are different, but I think my style is quite similar to Roger’s.
– Your craziest dream in tennis, in life.
– To win a Grand Slam.
– Just one?
– Winning one is the dream, the goal. Then you set other goals.
– If you could, what would you change about tennis, about the tour, about the way you live, if you had the power to do that?
– We play more or less the whole year. If you win and if you have a very high ranking, you can decide which tournament to play and have more time to rest, but if you have a medium ranking, you have to play everything. But it’s something everyone does.
– Italian tennis is in a great moment, why?
– A mix of things have contributed to the growth of Italian tennis. The Federation has been very supportive of the players. There is fortune as well.
– If you could steal something from Sinner, what would you take away from him?
– His mentality, although I think I’m staying like Lorenzo. I’m not going to change anything about who I am. We are all different. I know what things I have to improve on my own.
– Do you see yourself next year being top 10? Or is it a goal for this season already?
– If it comes, I accept it this year. But yes, I’m working for it, it’s the most important goal now.