Italian teenager Musetti beats Cuevas in Sardegna Open

SANTA MARGHERITA DI PULA, SARDINIA (AP) — Italian teenager Lorenzo Musetti beat eighth-seeded Pablo Cuevas 7-6 (4), 7-5 in the first round of the Forte Village Sardegna Open on Monday.

Having won the boys title at last year’s Australian Open, the 18-year-old Musetti made a splash at last month’s Italian Open where he beat former top-five players Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori in succession.

Against Cuevas, Musetti maintained his focus through two rain delays and quickly recovered a break of serve late in the second set.

The 143rd-ranked Musetti next faces qualifier Andrea Pellegrino, who won when Stefano Travaglia retired from their first-round match. Pellegrino was ahead 4-6, 7-6 (7), 3-0.

Also, seventh-seeded Tommy Paul beat Slovakian qualifier Andrej Martin 5-7, 6-3, 7-5; and Jiri Vesely eliminated Kamil Majchrzak 6-1, 7-5.

The tournament was installed in the ATP calendar as a one-time only event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti returns the ball during the Sardegna Open tennis tournament in Santa Margherita di Pula on October 12. PHOTO: AP