Pablo Carreño Busta is starting the year with a bang…
The 26-year-old Spanish tennis player, currently the World No.10, claimed the Kooyong Classic trophy after outlasting Australian Matt Ebden in a tight championship match.
Carreño Busta lost Friday’s first set and was down a break in the second but fought back to take the match 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-2 against the Australian No.2.
Ebden, who beat world No.6 Marin Cilic earlier in the week, was delighted with his form heading into next week’s Australian Open.
“The first day I won and, yesterday, I had chances to win and again, today, I was right there to win that one as well,” Ebden said.
“I probably should have won that in straight sets but I started rushing a little bit and he played some good shots.
“Obviously, I’m playing at a pretty good level, but it would be nice to maintain that for just a little bit more but, hopefully, that will come in the coming weeks.”
Carreño Busta felt the solid workout was perfect preparation for Melbourne Park, where he would meet another Aussie in wildcard Jason Kubler in round one.
“It was very good. I think it’s the best preparation for the Australian Open,” Carreño Busta said.
“It was a very competitive match and I think that’s the most important thing.”
World No.76 Ebden, winner of the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2013, faces 16th seed American John Isner.
Ebden has played against the tall Isner twice in recent times in two close encounters.
“He won a close one in the final against me at Newport and a close one against me at Wimbledon once as well, so I probably owe him one by now,” Ebden said.