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November 24 2017, 10:04 | Van Peters
Carreno Busta Marches Into First US Open Quarterfinal
Carreno Busta, meanwhile, benefits from the general upheaval in the bottom half of the U.S. Open bracket.
It won't happen this year.
Such is the new reality for the 18-year-old Canadian, whose unforeseen U.S. Open run was halted by Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta (6-7, 6-7, 6-7) in the fourth round Sunday.
Veteran ardor beat youthful flash. But he blew a 5-2 lead in the first set, when Carreno Busta erased three set points before building a big lead in the tiebreaker, and couldn't overcome 55 unforced errors.
However, the 26-year-old 12th seed remained composed to dominate the three tie-breaks and reach the next round.
It is a second Grand Slam quarter-final of the year for Carreno Busta after his run to the last eight of the French Open in June. The difference between the two men was summed up by the three tie-breaks, in each of which Carreno Busta was as solid as a rock, while Shapovalov was too impetuous. That the Canadian has improved his ranking such that qualifiers will no longer be necessary for Grand Slams bodes well for his future success in the big-time tournaments. In the US Open main draw the Canadian notched a win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
While Stephens only had two winners-the same number she had when dropping the second set-she didn't need to do much from the baseline, considering 19 of her 20 first serves landed in.
Break point chances: Through two sets, Shapovalov was 2/10 (20%), while Carreno Busta was 2/3 (66%).
Before long, Shapovalov found himself serving for the set at 5-3.
It will be Carreno Busta who lines up in the quarter-finals on this occasion but he's under no illusions that Shapovalov is on his way to the top. Carreno Busta, in contrast, chose his moments when to attack, though his heavy ball-striking regularly drove Shapovalov back. Exploiting that mental mistake, Carreno Busta held to level after 10 games. All of a sudden, the teen fell apart under pressure, missing a series of forehands to set up double break point. After a huge return set up a break point, the Spaniard netted his backhand to surrender the break. The left-hander hooked a sharp-angled wide serve creating an expanse of open court, but wailed a forehand wide to trail 1-3.
And del Potro vs Thiem is a rematch from past year.
In the end, the Spaniard's solid play was Shapovalov's undoing. Carreno Busta would fire a passing shot that caught the baseline to put the set back on serve.
Shapovalov was aggressive from the start.
The Barcelona baseliner's match management skills were the difference in all three tie breaks.
After surviving the first twelve games by the skin of his teeth, Carreno Busta took full advantage in the tiebreak. He zapped a 111 miles per hour serve down the middle and jammed a body serve into the ribs for a 4-1 lead.
Shapovalov very almost let the set get away from him immediately, being forced to save a pair of break points in the opening game.
Stepping in on return, he rattled Shapovalov's Yonex racquet with a jolting return for a two-set lead.
We saw a good example at the US Open today, when Denis Shapovalov put down his holdall on the way off Arthur Ashe Stadium and thanked the fans for their support.
Seemingly refocused after the break, Shapovalov raced out to a 3-0 lead in the third set.
The reliance on his volley game also may have been counterproductive for Shapovalov.