Pablo Carreno Busta Ends Qualifier Denis Shapovalov’s Run at US Open in the Fourth Round; Kevin Anderson, Diego Schwartzman, Sam Querrey Also reach Final 8
(September 3, 2017) FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Twelfth seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta ended the run of Canadian qualifier Denis Shapovalov in Ashe Stadium 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 7-6(3) to be the first to reach the quarterfinals of the US Open on Sunday. This is the first time that the Spaniard has reached the final eighth at the US Open. He also reached the quarterfinals at this year’s French Open.
First set the Canadian took a 5-2 lead and was broken serving for the set at 5-3. Both men held serve to force a tiebreak, which the Spaniard dominated 7-2.
History almost repeated itself in the second set when Carreno Busta went up a break and was broken serving for the set at 5-3. However, the No. 2 seed also won the second set tiebreak 7-4.
Shapovalov jumped out to a 3-0 lead to keep hope alive. However, his hopes were dashed when Carreno Busta broke back to remain on serve and force a third set tiebreak, which he won 7-3 to close out the match.
The 24-year-old Spaniard will be facing the winner of the Diego Schwartzman – Lucas Pouille match for a place in the semifinals.
“It’s amazing,” Carreno Busta said in his on-court post-match interview with ESPN’s Darren Cahill. “It was the first time I played singles on this court is unbelievable. I cannot describe it. I tried to fight all the time, every point. You never know when your opponent will doubt a little bit or make a mistake. I was focused on my game and I got through.”
“I think I had a lot of chances, Shapovalov said. “I don’t think I played as well today as I have been these past two weeks, but, I mean, that’s tennis. It’s going to happen.
“I think Pablo played a very great match. He stayed very tough mentally in the big points. Yeah, he just played three tiebreaks that were better than mine. I was up in the first, up in the third. I definitely had my chances. Very disappointed that I wasn’t able to keep my leads.
“But, you know, at the end of the day, it’s tennis. I still have a lot of things to learn. Yeah, so hopefully I can come back and, you know, hopefully one day I can make it further here.”
“It was incredible matches,” Carreno Busta said. “It was the first time I played on Arthur Ashe. I played last year the final in doubles, but in singles this is my first time there.
“Is incredible! The people was supporting all the time. There is a lot of noise, and you think the people is behind you, but I just tried to be focused on the match. And then at the beginning I was a little bit scared, maybe a little bit nervous.
“But after, when he broke me, I talk to my coach. I don’t know if he heard me, because there was a lot of noise. But I told to him that I can win the match, but I need to be very aggressive because he plays really good.
“And I just try to do it. I continue fighting all the times with 5-2 in the first set, with 6-5, 15-40 in the first set.
“And then in the tiebreaks, I just play perfect. I played very aggressive. I served really good. It was very tough, because three hours, three sets, three tiebreaks, but of course it was an amazing victory for me. Now I’m in quarterfinals again of a Grand Slam, first time here in US Open, and will try to continue.”
The Canadian began the summer swing ranked 161 in the world, he’ll end it close to the top 50 in the world. He reached the semifinal of a Masters 1000 event, Montreal, and the fourth round of a major, the US Open, having to go through the qualifying tournament.
The 18-year-old Shapovalov was bidding to become the youngest US Open quarterfinalist since Andre Agassi in 1988.
“The biggest lesson is that I’m able to compete with these guys,” Shapovalov said to media. “I still think I have a lot of work to do.
“I mean, it’s just been, you know, two tournaments, but I really feel like I have to put in a lot of work this offseason to try and secure my spot in these rankings and just to be able to compete with these guys, yeah, week in and week out.”
“Definitely, there is still so much work to be done,” the Canadian said about this progress. “I’m playing unbelievable tennis right now, but, yeah, it’s not going to be like this every week.
“I mean, I have been very lucky. I have been, you know, playing really well. There’s going to be a lot of tough weeks ahead, and I’m ready for that, as well.
“I think I really need to get back to work, and my team is making sure that, you know, first of all, I’m staying healthy, and second of all, I’m always trying to get better so that, yeah, hopefully in the future I can make some more runs. Hopefully, eventually, in the long term, lifting up a cup.”
Carreno Busta is the highest seed left at the bottom half of the draw.
“All the players in this part of the draw are very, very good players,: he said. “I play now against Pouille or Schwartzman. Pouille is a top-20 player. Schwartzman is playing really good and with a lot of confidence.
“So the next match will be really difficult, too. I don’t know the next round. I just think about the quarterfinals.”
Carreno Busta will play 26th seed Diego Schwartzman in the quarterfinals. The Argentine defeated 19th seed Lucas Pouille in four sets to improve his best ever major performance.
“It’s going to be really nice for me,” said about playing Carreno Busta next.”I am really happy to be in the quarterfinals this year. More if I play against Pablo because he’s my friend outside the court. We have a good relationship in the locker rooms, and we have a lot of things outside the tennis life.
“It’s going to be really nice for both of us to play in the quarterfinals here in a Grand Slam. Is nice.”
The Argentine at 5’7′ will be the shortest men’s quarterfinalist since Jaime Yzaga at the 1994 US Open.
Kevin Anderson is back in the final eight. The South African seeded 28th, defeated Paolo Lorenzi in Louis Armstrong Stadium 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-4.
Two years ago Anderson first reached a major quarterfinal for the first time, here at the US Open.
“It feels great,” said the former Top 10 player. “Obviously I think getting here in this position a couple years ago, I think it was a very valuable experience in today’s match. Obviously at this sort of stage of tournaments, it means a lot. I think just being at that stage previously I think made me settle a little bit.
“As the match went on, it was such a close match, towards the end, all my focus was just getting through the match. I didn’t really even think of the stage of the tournament.
“Obviously it feels great right now, matching my best result here. I feel like I’m playing really good tennis. My body’s healthy. It was a pretty tough loss at the beginning of this year with a few injuries.
“Right now, since actually the whole year, I mean, obviously a few aches and pains, but every tennis player has that. I’m glad to accept that. It’s the injuries where you’re unable to practice and play the kind of way that you want to.”
In the night session, Sam Querrey did what John Isner could not do on Friday night – beat 23rd seed Mischa Zverev. Querrey hit 55 winners and made only 8 unforced errors in beating the German 6-2, 6-2, 6-1 in 76 minutes. With the victory Querrey becomes the No. 1 ranked U.S. male.
“I never once thought about that this whole tournament or that match out there tonight,” said the 29-year-old 17th seed. “I don’t feel any extra pressure.”
“I didn’t have a good feeling until I hit a couple balls in the warmup. A little nervous, first night match out there. Mischa is someone who can make you feel uncomfortable. Had a good service game right off the bat. I think I broke first game of his serve, when he served. That just loosened me up right away. Felt great from there going forward.”
“I went out there with the game plan of getting the return down and then try to pass, hopefully on the first ball, but if it took two passing shots, go with that. The more comfortable I got with the return, the more I kind of started trying to hit the return further and further away from him to make tough volleys.”
Querrey is the first US man to reach the final 8 since Andy Roddick and John Isner did it in 2011.
Querrey will play Kevin Anderson for a spot in the semifinals. The 6′ 6″ Querrey versus the 6′ 8″ Anderson will be the tallest quarterfinal, semifinal or final int he Open Era. Querrey leads the head-to-head record at 8-6.