© Chengdu Open

Pablo Carreno Busta owns a 4-3 record in tour-level finals.

Carreno Busta Edges Bublik To Capture Chengdu Crown

Spaniard claims final-set tie-break victory

Pablo Carreno Busta lifted his first tour-level trophy in more than two years on Sunday, outlasting Alexander Bublik 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3) at the Chengdu Open.

The Spaniard, who snapped a six-match ATP Tour semi-final losing streak on Saturday, claimed 81 per cent of service points (77/95) and withstood 31 aces from the Kazakh to claim his fourth tour-level trophy after two hours and five minutes. Carreno Busta ends a two-year, four-month wait for an ATP Tour trophy. The 28-year-old claimed his third title in May 2017 at the Millennium Estoril Open.

“This year was very tough for me because of the injuries at the beginning of the year,” said Carreno Busta. “I had [a lot of time] off the courts and it is really tough when you cannot play and enjoy this sport.

“I just tried to continue working hard because I know when you work and do as much as possible, normally you have the prize. Now I am here with the trophy [after] winning my fourth ATP Tour title and for me it is the reason to continue fighting and playing this sport.”

Carreno Busta improves to 2-0 in his FedEx ATP Head2Head series against Bublik after notching his 24th win in 41 tour-level encounters this year. In his only previous meeting against Bublik at the 2016 VTB Kremlin Cup, the Spaniard also needed a final-set tie-break to claim the win.

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After saving two set points at 4-5, 15/40, with strong serving and attacking play, Bublik edged a tense first-set tie-break. The Kazakh converted his first set point as Carreno Busta served at 5/6, chipping his return to rush Carreno Busta before placing a forehand volley into the open court.

Carreno Busta responded well in the second set, securing the only service break of the match at 3-3 to gain a crucial advantage. The Spaniard moved up the court on numerous occasions to gain a 4-3 lead and took the match to a decider with his fourth ace of the match.

With neither player able to earn a break of serve in the third set, a tie-break was needed to decide the outcome of the match. Carreno Busta surged to a 4/0 lead, attacking short balls with his forehand to end points quickly. The World No. 63 clinched the title with a crosscourt backhand passing shot before dropping to his knees in celebration.

“It was an incredible week here in Chengdu,” said Carreno Busta. “During the week I felt really comfortable on court. The surface is very fast, but I was very good with my serve during all the matches and I think it was the key to being the winner of the tournament.”

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Bublik was aiming to lift his first ATP Tour crown in his second final of the year. The 22-year-old, who fired 125 aces this week in Chengdu, reached his maiden ATP Tour championship match in July at the Hall of Fame Open.

“I am happy to be in my second final and I am happy for Pablo, he played an unbelievable match,” said Bublik.

Did You Know?
This marks the second straight year that a player has claimed his fourth ATP Tour trophy by winning the Chengdu Open in a final-set tie-break. Last year, Bernard Tomic edged Fabio Fognini 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) to lift his fourth tour-level crown.