Carreno Busta Back From The Brink For SF Spot

The Spaniard will face Stan Wawrinka or Dominic Thiem in the semi-final

Pablo Carreno Busta is through to his first ATP World Tour Masters 1000 semi-final after saving two match points to deny Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4) at the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

The Spaniard ended Cuevas' seven-match winning run with victory in two hours and five minutes, avenging his defeat to the Uruguayan in the Sao Paulo semi-finals just under two weeks ago.

"It's an amazing feeling," said Carreno Busta. "It's my first time in the semifinal in a Masters 1000. This tournament is one of the best tournaments in the year and maybe one of the tougher, because all the people is playing here. So I think it's a really great result for me."

Carreno Busta goes on to face either third seed Stan Wawrinka or eighth seed Dominic Thiem, whom he lost to in the Rio de Janeiro final on clay last month.

Cuevas could not have put any more into his match point opportunities. The Uruguayan, who was on a hot run of form after winning the Sao Paulo title (d. Ramos-Vinolas), threw himself into a dive backhand on his first one, when leading 30/40 on Carreno Busta’s serve in the 10th game. Carreno Busta put away the ensuing smash, before Cuevas was treated for bleeding fingers and knees.

The 31-year-old Cuevas was then denied a second chance at 30/40 on Carreno Busta’s serve in the 11th game, as his Spanish opponent dig out a blistering return of serve before salvaging the point. It would be Cuevas’ final opportunity as Carreno Busta went on to seize his chance in the tie-break, converting his first match point.

The 25-year-old Carreno Busta had never before been past the third round of a Masters 1000 tournament.

"It was a tough match," said Carreno Busta. "Always with Pablo I need to be very focused on my game, very aggressive, because his second serve bounces a lot. So I need to be aggressive and I need to dominate the points, because he's really dangerous with his forehand."