Italian tennis star Lorenzo Musetti, 20, admitted Roger Federer’s was his childhood idol but added it was David Nalbandian whose backhand impressed him the most. Nalbandian, the 2002 Wimbledon runner-up and a former top-3 player, played a two-handed backhand.
Musetti, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No 23 in the world, plays a one-handed backhand but he was always looking up to Nalbandian when it comes to the backhand shot. “I play a one-handed backhand, but David Nalbandian had the most noticeable backhand for me, even though he played two-handed.
In my opinion he played one of the best backhands on the tour. I had the opportunity to meet him. He is the coach of Miomir Kecmanovic. We are friends and often train together. Sometimes when I’m hitting a backhand winner down the line, I picture David.
Federer was my childhood idol. But when it comes to the backhand, I think of Nalbandian,” Musetti told Germany’s Tennis Magazin.
Musetti on the benefits of playing a one-handed backhand
Musetti, who captured his first two ATP titles this year, was asked to explain the positive sides of a one-handed backhand.
“You have more feeling on both sides, more touch, you can play many variations, down the line, cross over the court. You can play topspin and slice. It’s not easy, but growing up like that and having the physical ability, stability and balance to play a 1-handed backhand, I think it’s even better than a 2-handed backhand.
It’s not easy to return with a one-handed backhand, especially on faster courts. But I’ve always played that way, so I’m happy with my backhand,” Musetti explained. In the summer, Musetti defeated Carlos Alcaraz in the Hamburg final to lift his first ATP title.
Musetti, who is just 20, is considered one of the most talented and promising players in the world. Musetti has high ambitions and it remains to be seen if he will one day become a Grand Slam champion and the world No 1.