Pablo Carreno Busta has made it to the Final Four at this year’s US Open…
The 29-year-old Spanish tennis player battled through five sets in a four-hour evening match that ended after 1:00 am to defeat Denis Shapovalov 3-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4), 0-6, 6-3 in the quarterfinals at Flushing Meadows. And now Carreno Busta is back in the US Open semifinals for a second time.
It’s a lot more work than he put in a round earlier.
One match after advancing when No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic was disqualified in the first set, the 20th-seeded expended a lot more energy and outlasted Shapovalov in a long and tense match.
“I’m destroyed,” Carreno Busta said, “but I’m very, very happy.”
Carreno Busta made it to the final four in New York in 2017, losing to eventual runner-up Kevin Anderson at that stage. That was the only previous Grand Slam semifinal appearance for Carreno Busta.
At least he’ll get a chance to rest up before playing Friday against No. 5 seed Alexander Zverev in the semifinals.
Rafael Nadal’s face has found a special home Down Under…
The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, currently ranked No. 1 in the world, is one of the players being honored with a special mural in Perth, Australia.
The inaugural ATP Cupis set to take place between January 3-12 in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth, bringing together some of the world’s leading players in both singles and doubles from 24 countries.
Weeks before the start of the action, Nodal got his mural in Perth together with Kei Nishikori and other stars, with the organizers welcoming the 19-time Grand Slam champion.
Nadal is among those who’ll fight for the crown together with his teammates, fresh after conquering the first edition of the Davis Cup Finalsin Madrid.
Spain is the favorite to reach the quarters from Group B, battling against Japan, Uruguay and Georgia at RAC Arena in Perth and hoping to continue the competition in Sydney where eight strongest teams continue the quest for the title in the second stage of the event.
Backed by Roberto Bautista Augt, Pablo Carreno Busta, Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Feliciano Lopez, Nadal is eager to lead Spain towards another team competition crown, shining in front of the home fans in Madrid with eight victories from as many rubbers and delivering the sixth Davis Cup title for Spain.
In what was a wild race towards the finish line, Nadal and Djokovic fought for the year-end no. 1 spot for almost the entire season, with the Spaniard making the deciding move in Montreal and the US Open and keeping the lead in the ATP Raceuntil the ATP Finalswhere they both lost in the round-robin stage.
Rafa and Novak will continue their rivalry at the ATP Cup, joined by Gael Monfils, Kei Nishikori, David Goffin, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Denis Shapovalov, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Nick Kyrgios, Alex de Minaur, Daniil Medvedev, Karen Khachanov, John Isner, Matteo Berrettini, Fabio Fognini, Dominic Thiem, Diego Schwartzmanand others.
The 33-year-old Spanish tennis star, ranked No. 1 in the world, risked injury by playing eight matches — five singles, three doubles — in six days at the Davis Cup Finals, the new World Cup of tennis.
Nadal won all of them, leading Spain to its sixth Davis Cup title after a 2-0 win over first-time finalist Canada on Sunday.
But in Nadal’s view, the only hero for Spain was grieving teammate Roberto Bautista Agut. He sent Spain on its way to victory by winning the first singles match on Sunday, three days after the death of his father.
“I’ve won the eight matches but the person who was vital in this Davis Cup was Roberto,” Nadal said. “For me, what he did was something almost inhuman. I don’t know how to explain it. It will be an example for the rest of my life. He had to leave, then his dad died, then he came back and practiced with us yesterday, and today he was ready again to play at a very high level. It was something incredible.”
Before Nadal defeated Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 7-6 (7) to clinch the title — Spain’s first since also winning at home in 2011 — Bautista Agut had given Spain a 1-0 lead by beating Felix Auger-Aliassime7-6 (3), 6-3.
Bautista Agut pointed his finger to the sky after winning the final point in his match, and was in tears while speaking briefly to the crowd, which chanted his name. And he was the Spanish player lifting the cup in the title celebrations.
Bautista Agut’s father died on Thursday — a day after his son had defeated Nikola Mektic of Croatia — with his health deteriorating quickly after an illness that stemmed from a 2016 accident.
Bautista Agut, No. 9 in the world, played as teammates Pablo Carreno Busta and Marcel Granollers nursed injuries entering the final.
As for Nadal, he considered himself lucky to be able to play all matches.
“It’s true that I held up, but we know that playing so many matches in this [hard-court] surface is risky for me, something can happen at any time,” Nadal said. “That’s how it’s been in the past, but luckily I held up.”
Spain’s Granollers and Feliciano Lopezhad been scheduled to face Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisilin the now-canceled doubles match, although Nadal was likely to play if the title had been at stake. Nadal played in the decisive doubles on Friday and Saturday.
Voted the tournament’s best player, Nadal sealed the title with his 29th straight Davis Cup singles win, igniting the home crowd’s celebrations.
Tournament organizer and Barcelona soccer star Gerard Pique, his wife Shakira — who performed in the closing ceremony — and Spanish King Felipe VI were among those celebrating Spain’s triumph.
Spain’s other Davis Cup titles were in 2000, ’04, ’08, ’09 and ’11.
The new Davis Cup Finals is the result of a 25-year partnership between the International Tennis Federation and the Kosmos group co-founded by Pique.
Pablo Carreno Bustais finally back in a men’s final…
The 28-year-old Spanish professional tennis player produced a clinical display to beat Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Chengdu Open on Saturday, setting up a final against Alexander Bublik.
Eighth seed Shapovalov fired down 12 aces and won 21 of his 29 first-serve points but Carreno Busta made the most of his limited opportunities, converting a break point in each set to claim victory in just over an hour.
Sunday’s final will be Carreno Busta’s first since 2017 as he snapped a six-match losing streak in ATP Tour semifinals.
“I lost (semi-finals) in Antalya and Hamburg this year. Finally, I can win a semi-final to be in a final,” he said.
“In the first game of the match, I saved two break points and maybe it was the key… He served really good during a lot of the match, but in the two games where I had break points, I broke serve.”
Bublik, who beat Grigor Dimitrovon Friday after saving two match points, overpowered South Africa’s Lloyd Harrisin a 7-6(6) 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Bublik and Carreno Busta have played just once before on the Tour, a 2016 clash in Moscow where the Spaniard prevailed in three sets.
“Alex is a tough player,” said Carreno Busta. “He serves really well with his first and second serves… I need to be very focused, try to win my service games and then wait for the moment and take advantage of my opportunities.”
David Ferrer is two wins away from a handful of titles in Auckland…
The 35-year-old Spanish tennis player, a four-time champion at the ATP Tour‘s ASB Classic, has advanced to the semifinals at the tournament for the eighth time after defeating South Korea’s Hyeon Chung6-3, 6-2 in Thursday’s quarterfinals.
Ferrer’s semifinal opponent will be another former champion, second-seeded Juan Martin del Potro, who beat Russia’s Karen Khachanov7-6 (4), 6-3.
del Potro looked in top form ahead of the Australian Open with his second straight-sets victory, having beaten Canadian teenage star Denis Shapovalov6-2, 6-4 in the second round. In two matches in Auckland, 2009 champion del Potro has yet to concede a break point.
“Of course I’m happy to get through. He’s one of the toughest guys on tour,” del Potro said. “Today’s match was so close. He hits the ball so hard and we play long rallies, big points and I think I took all my chances to win.”
Another former champion, fifth-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut, will face Robin Haase of the Netherlands in the other semifinal. Bautista Agut defeated Jiri Vesely7-6 (1), 6-1 on Thursday while Haase beat Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 6-4.