By Florian Heer
(September 1, 2013) COMO, ITALY – A lot of sunshine and temperatures with up to 28 degrees Celsius led to fully packed stands with about 250 spectators on Sunday afternoon attending the singles final between Pablo Carreño-Busta and Dominic Thiem.
It was the second meeting between the two players. The Austrian won the first encounter at an ITF Future event in Oujda, Morocco in November last year. Back then, the players met in the semi-final and Thiem gained victory in three sets. It was one of the first tournaments Carreño played after his shoulder injury he suffered in spring 2012. With the start of this year he began his winning streak, which includes seven ITF Future titles and three ATP Challenger titles.
Thiem, on the other hand seems to establish himself on highest tennis level at the age of 19. After winning two ITF Future titles this year, he took advantage of a wild card at the ATP 250 in Kitzbühel to reach the quarterfinal and has now reached his first ever Challenger Final.
The world number 216 from Vienna made a nervous start and lost the opening service game. After Thiem got also broken in the seventh game, Carreño could serve the set out after only twenty-seven minutes.
In the second frame Thiem finally found his rhythm and capitalized on his first break point in the second game. He showed some good groundstrokes from far behind the baseline with a lot of spin and good length. The quality of the match improved and it became an even affair with breaks of serve on both sides. Carreño missed the opportunity to close the match out in the ninth game and eventually it was the Austrian, who broke on set point in the twelfth game.
The encounter went the distance but the Spaniard was wide awake right from the beginning of the final set. He broke serve in the first and third game and therewith also the will of his opponent. Carreño bageled Thiem in the final set winning the match 6-2, 5-7, 6-0 to take his third consecutive ATP Challenger title after one hour and forty-four minutes. “I started very well today and only had some problems to finish the match in the second set when I lost my service three times in a row,” Carreño told us. “In the end I’m happy to take the title here,” the Spaniard said. Again he wore a red shirt like he also did when he won the titles in Segovia and Cordenons. “It seemed to be a lucky shirt, maybe I’ll wear the same clothes during my next tournament in Genova,” he laughed. “After Genova, I’ll probably join the Spanish Davis Cup team to practice with them during their preparations for the play-off match against the Ukraine. This will be a great experience for me,” Carreño said and is looking forward to the hard court season in Asia later this year.