Carreno Busta, Gasquet Surge Into Winston-Salem Quarter-Finals
Former champion Spaniard to next meet Ivashka
The 2016 champion backed up his wins over the German at the Tokyo Olympics and at last week’s Western & Southern Open to improve to 3-0 in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. The Spaniard, who beat World No. 1 Novak Djokovic for the bronze medal in Tokyo, continued his run of hard-court form for his third straight quarter-final berth.
“It was a very good match. I think I played very aggressively today, I made a lot of winners,” Carreno Busta said. “I played against him the last two tournaments so it was important to me at the beginning of the match to be very focused and play very aggressive so I think this was a very good match for me.
“I’m feeling really comfortable playing this year, also. We know next we have the US Open but day by day I need the confidence, I need the rhythm. I think that I’m playing at a really good level so I would like to continue this way.”
Carreno Busta won 82 per cent of first-serve points and 53 per cent on second-serve points in the 67-minute victory. It set a quarter-final clash with Belarusian Ilya Ivashka, an earlier 6-2, 6-1 winner over German ninth seed Jan-Lennard Stuff.
“I think it was a great match from me. I did everything that I had to do. I was very accurate with the returns. In my game, I was serving really well,” Ivashka said.
“Yesterday was a very tough match losing a set and a break down in the second [against Marin Cilic] and then I found my game… I think today I continued the same way.”
Former No.7 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Richard Gasquet, recovered from a dip in intensity in the second set as he saw off third seed Daniel Evans to book his first quarter-final in Winston-Salem since 2016. From 1-4 down in the second set, the Frenchman found his groove to post a 6-4, 7-6(4) win in an hour and 51 minutes.
Gasquet won 73 per cent of first-serve points, 56 per cent of second-serve points and broke once in each set. He will next meet Finland’s Ruusuvuori, a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 winner over Gasquet’s compatriot, 12th seed Benoit Paire.
“I had confidence after winning the first set. I fought a lot in the second set, he started to play better, to be more aggressive and I tried to fight so it was important for me to win the second set,” Gasquet said. “The third [set], you never know what could happen so I’m really happy with how I played.
“I’m playing well. I won two difficult matches, especially with the conditions – it’s very hot and humid – so it’s always a tough battle for everyone but I managed to win and I hope to do the same tomorrow.”