Carreno Busta Navigates Korda Test
Pablo Carreno Busta recorded his 50th Grand Slam win Friday as he continued his red-hot start to the season, downing American Sebastian Korda 6-4, 7-5, 6-7(6), 6-3 to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open.
Both Carreno Busta and Korda came into the match off the back of gruelling five-set victories, but it was the 19th seed who recovered quicker, playing consistently from the baseline as he hit his flat groundstrokes through the court in their first ATPHead2Head meeting to advance after three hours and 27 minutes.
“I think that I play good level today. It's not easy to play against Sebastian because he puts a lot of pressure [on you],” Carreno Busta said in his post-match press conference. “He played very aggressively with his serve and also with the baseline shots. [I am] happy because it's [a] very important victory.”
The Spaniard, who is making his ninth appearance in Melbourne, is now 7-1 on the year and is into the fourth round at the first major of the season for the third time. The 30-year-old will next face Italian Matteo Berrettini after the seventh seed edged #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz 6-2, 7-6(3), 4-6, 2-6, 7-6(10-5) in an Aussie Open epic.
Carreno Busta’s best results at a Grand Slam have come at the US Open, where he has reached the semi-finals twice (2017, 2020). The World No. 21 captured two tour-level titles in 2021, including his first ATP 500 crown in Hamburg.
After spending over four hours on court in the second round against Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, Carreno Busta would have been dreaming of a quick victory over Korda and he made the perfect start, converting his eighth set point to eventually close out the opener.
The Spaniard remained water-tight off the ground in the second set, hitting 18 winners and just eight unforced errors, finding the decisive break in the 12th game to put his foot further down on the accelerator.
In a tight third set, Korda battled hard as they moved to a tie-break, with the American rallying from 3/5 down to keep himself alive in Melbourne. However, his reprieve was short lived, with Carreno-Busta dialling back in during the fourth set, advancing when Korda sprayed a forehand wide.
Korda was making his Australian Open debut and was aiming to reach the fourth round at a major for the third time, having enjoyed runs to the last season at Roland Garros in 2020 and Wimbledon last year.