Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta produced a clinical display to beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3, 6-4 at the Chengdu Open yesterday, setting up a final against Kazakh Alexander Bublik.
Eighth seed Shapovalov fired down 12 aces and won 21 of his 29 first-serve points, but Carreno Busta made the most of his limited opportunities, converting a break point in each set to claim victory in just over an hour.
Today’s final is to be Carreno Busta’s first since 2017 as he snapped a six-match losing streak in ATP tour semi-finals.
“I lost [semi-finals] in Antalya and Hamburg this year. Finally, I can win a semi-final to be in a final,” the 28-year-old said. “In the first game of the match, I saved two break points and maybe it was the key... He served really good during a lot of the match, but in the two games where I had break points, I broke serve.”
Bublik, who beat Grigor Dimitrov on Friday after saving two match points, overpowered South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in a 7-6 (8/6), 6-4 in the other semi-final.
The 22-year-old landed 21 aces in a dominant display to reach his second tour-level final of the season.
Bublik and Carreno Busta have played just once before on the Tour, a 2016 clash in Moscow where the Spaniard prevailed in three sets.
“Alex is a tough player,” Carreno Busta said. “He serves really well with his first and second serves... I need to be very focused, try to win my service games and then wait for the moment and take advantage of my opportunities.”
Aryna Sabalenka became the first player to claim back-to-back titles in Wuhan thanks to a 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 victory over American Alison Riske in the final yesterday.
The 21-year-old improved her record at the event to a perfect 12-0 and joins Petra Kvitova as the only two-time Wuhan Open champions.
In a rematch of their final in Shenzhen in January last year, Sabalenka used her supreme power game once again to overcome Riske in 114 minutes in front of a 13,000-strong center court crowd. She unleashed 18 aces and won 79 percent of her first-serve points.
Adrian Mannarino of France and Australian Alex de Minaur are to contest the Zhuhai Open final today after they beat Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Roberto Bautista Agut yesterday.
Mannarino beat Ramos-Vinolas 6-0, 4-6, 6-1, while De Minaur won 6-2, 6-2 over Bautista Agut in their semi-finals on the outdoor hard courts at the Hengqin International Tennis Center
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