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Musetti reaches 1st Grand Slam semi at Wimbledon, will face Djokovic

Rob Newell - CameraSport / CameraSport / Getty

LONDON (AP) — Lorenzo Musetti reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by eliminating Taylor Fritz 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 at Wimbledon on Wednesday and will take on Novak Djokovic next.

The 25th-seeded Musetti, a 22-year-old from Italy, had never been past the third round at the All England Club — or the fourth round at any major tournament — until now.

His victory over the 13th-seeded Fritz was the 37th five-setter at the All England Club this year, the most at any Grand Slam tournament.

Now Musetti will go up against Djokovic with a berth in the final on the line.

It will be Djokovic's record-tying 13th semifinal at Wimbledon alone — equaling Roger Federer — and 49th Slam semifinal overall, extending a mark he already held. As Musetti pursues his first major championship, Djokovic seeks a 25th, including what would be an eighth at the All England Club.

Djokovic's smooth trip through this year’s bracket was made even easier when the man he was supposed to play in the quarterfinals Wednesday, Alex de Minaur, pulled out with a hip injury hours before their match was scheduled to begin.

Playing at a sun-swathed No. 1 Court against Fritz, an American who is one of the sport's biggest servers but fell to 0-4 in major quarterfinals, Musetti managed to accumulate 13 break points and convert six. The outcome-determining break came on a forehand winner by Musetti that made it 2-0 in the last set; moments later, another break made it 4-0.

There was not a ton of variety exhibited by either player; they were mainly content to trade groundstrokes from the baseline. But Musetti did manage to accrue points with effective drop shots, occasionally following them with successful passing attempts or lobs.


AP tennis:

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