Carreno Busta Caps Perfect Week With Estoril Title

Spaniard wins first title of 2017

Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta finished off a flawless week at the Millennium Estoril Open by taking the title with a 6-2, 7-6(5) victory over third seed Gilles Muller.

“It’s my first title on clay, so I’m really happy,” said Carreno Busta. “It wasn’t an easy match today because of his serve and also the volley, but I was confident with my serve. He served better in the second set, but I played better in the tie-break.”

The Spaniard picks up his first ATP World Tour title of 2017 after finishing runner-up this February in Rio de Janeiro (l. Thiem). Carreno Busta didn’t drop a set in navigating through a difficult draw that included former Top 5 player Tommy Robredo, defending champion Nicolas Almagro, fourth seed David Ferrer and Muller. He earns 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and a cheque for €85,945.

Despite the loss, Muller can be satisfied with reaching his first clay-court final. The 33-year-old Luxembourg native is enjoying his best year on tour, winning his first ATP World Tour title in Sydney and reaching a career-high Emirates ATP Ranking of No. 27 the following month. He picks up 150 Emirates ATP Rankings points and a cheque for €45,265.

“My performance was fine in the second set, but I had a really tough time getting into the match in the first set. He was putting pressure on me and not missing many balls,” said Muller. “I think I could have played better, but he was just too good.”

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Carreno Busta and Muller traded service holds in the first two games of the match, but the Spaniard quickly found his footing while Muller struggled for form. The top seed went on a five-game run after Muller gave away a break at 2-2 with a backhand into the net and a double break at 2-4 after sending a forehand wide. Carreno Busta comfortably wrapped up the set on serve after the third seed sent another forehand wide. 

But Muller settled down in the second set and produced the high quality tennis he’d shown all week. Both players held serve throughout to force a tie-break. Carreno Busta raced to a 5/2 lead, but Muller leveled the score with a gorgeous drop shot winner. Carreno Busta earned a match point at 6/5 and converted when Muller sent a backhand volley long after one hour and 22 minutes.

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Both men are scheduled to compete this week at the Mutua Madrid Open. Muller takes on Tommy Haas, while Carreno Busta squares off against Benoit Paire