Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta put an end to 18-year-old Canadian Denis Shapovalov’s quixotic run at the U.S. Open with a 7-6(2) 7-6(4) 7-6(3) win on Sunday to punch his ticket to the quarter-finals.
Playing under a closed roof on a rainy day at Flushing Meadows, the 12th-seeded Carreno Busta showed more poise than the youngster during the match’s pivotal three tiebreakers.
“In the tiebreaks I played perfect. I played very aggressive,” Carreno Busta told reporters. “It was very tough, because three hours, three sets, three tiebreaks. But, of course, it was an amazing victory for me.”
Shapovalov praised Carreno Busta’s ability to stay focused during the 26-year-old’s first-ever singles match at the always buzzing Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“He stayed very tough mentally in the big points,” Shapovalov said. “He just played three tiebreaks that were better than mine.”
Shapovalov failed to capitalize on his opportunities during the closely fought match, converting just three of 13 break points while double faulting four times, including a momentum-killing one to start the final tiebreaker.
Carreno Busta was also the better player during the match’s long rallies, winning 17 of the 25 rallies of nine shots or more, often with help from one of Shapovalov’s 31 unforced errors.
Carreno Busta, who will play in his second quarter-final of the year at a major, will next face either 29th-seeded Argentine Diego Schwartzman or 16th-seeded Lucas Pouille of France.