Carreno Busta Beats In-Form Shapovalov In Vienna
Rublev earns third-set tie-break win over Bublik
Pablo Carreno Busta extended his late-season run of form on Wednesday by beating Denis Shapovalov for the second time in four weeks at the Erste Bank Open.
The Spaniard broke the four-match winning streak of last week’s Intrum Stockholm Open titlist with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over 72 minutes. Carreno Busta has now won 14 of his past 18 matches since reaching the US Open third round (l. to Goffin).
The former World No. 10 won the first three games of their fourth FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, breaking in the second game when Shapovalov made a backhand error. The second set looked destined for a tie-break, but a wayward forehand from 20-year-old Shapovalov at 5-5, 30/40 gave Carreno Busta an opportunity to serve for his 29th match win of the season. Carreno Busta committed 11 unforced errors to Shapovalov's 34.
Carreno Busta beat Shapovalov en route to lifting his fourth ATP Tour trophy at the Chengdu Open on 29 September and last week advanced to the Stockholm semi-finals (l. to Krajinovic). Shapovalov, who has already qualified for the Next Gen ATP Finals in November, drops to a 31-25 match record in 2019.
Carreno Busta will next play Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, who, later in the day, was solid on serve in a 6-4, 6-4 win over eighth-seeded Croatian Borna Coric in 82 minutes.
Elsewhere, Shapovalov’s compatriot, sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime, who was due to play last week’s VTB Kremlin Cup champion Andrey Rublev, withdrew due to a left ankle injury. The Canadian is replaced in the main draw by Kazakhstani lucky loser Alexander Bublik.
Rublev fought hard to beat Bublik for the second time in as many weeks (Moscow) with a 6-1, 6-7(3), 7-6(6) victory over two hours and 18 minutes. The 22-year-old Rublev could not convert two match points on Bublik’s serve at 6-5 in the second set and subsequently hit his first double fault of the match at the start of the tie-break.
He will next challenge South Korea’s Hyeon Chung, the inaugural Next Gen ATP Finals champion in 2017, who continues his comeback from a back injury.