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US Open: Pablo Carreno Busta beats Denis Shapovalov to reach quarter-finals

04 September 2017

The sets were all competitive but the Spaniard consistently had the better groundstrokes in the tense moments.

The No. 12 seed won 7-6 (2), 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3) to reach the quarters for the first time in Flushing Meadows and match his best result in a Grand Slam tournament.

After winning three qualifying matches and three main-draw matches, Shapovalov had his chances in the fourth round. Zverev recovered from two sets to one down and a break down in the fourth against Thai-Son Kwaitkowski before holding off Benoit Paire 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 6-7 (3), 7-5. Due to lack of experience, however, it wasn't long before the experienced Spaniard held serve and found himself back on serve. Carreno Busta would fire a passing shot that caught the baseline to put the set back on serve. I continue fighting all the times with 5-2 in the first set, with 6-5, 15-40 in the first set.

Carreno Busta won his third career ATP title in May on Estoril clay then reached his first Slam quarter-final at the French Open, where he retired against Rafael Nadal with an abdominal injury that kept him out of Wimbledon.

After surviving the first twelve games by the skin of his teeth, Carreno Busta took full advantage in the tiebreak. It looked a tough match on paper, but after a tight first set, Shapovalov dominated.

The second set was practically identical to the opener, only with the roles reversed. Shapovalov, on the other hand, continued to struggle and errors continued to cost him. He ran out a 7-5 6-1 6-2 victor.

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History nearly repeated itself in the second set when Carreno Busta went up a break and was broken serving for the set at 5-3.

Denis Shapovalov hits a forehand during his fourth round loss.

Maria Sharapova is headed to a third set yet again at the U.S. Open.

Carreno Busta suddenly looked a grade above the teenager, breaking for a 3-1 lead and pressing the youngster at every opportunity. King looked outmatched early on, falling two sets behind.

Carreno Busta saved two break points in his opening service game with unreturned serves, but at 2-3 the Spaniard was broken as Shapovalov hit some blockbuster returns.

He only converted three of 13 break points to illustrate that there is still some heavy polishing to be applied to the sport's latest rough diamond.

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Shapovalov jumped out to a 3-0 lead to keep hope alive.

Describing his run in NY as "a dream", his campaign came to an end on Sunday evening when he was beaten in three sets - each decided by a tiebreak - by the 12th seed, Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta, in a match which lasted just six minutes short of three hours.

Once again, the set required a tiebreak and it was even more déjà-vu.

After double-faulting on the first point, Shapovalov was soon 4-0 down. The Spaniard remained ideal on serve and added another minibreak when the Canadian sent a backhand long, stretching the lead to 4-0 before setting up five match points at 6-1. Both men have made serious breakthroughs in 2017, with Carreno Busta reaching a career high ranking.

On Sunday, most of the damage being done was self-inflicted as the Israel-born Shapovalov unleashed 54 winners but committed 55 unforced errors, most on the key points. Carreno Busta is in many ways the opposite to Shapovalov. As Shapovalov left the court he milked the crowd's prolonged applause.

Carreno Busta is through to his second major quarterfinal of the season (Roland Garros).

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Maria Sharapova, making her Grand Slam return after serving a 15-month doping ban, was to face Latvian 16th seed Anastasija Sevastova later on Ashe with the victor to play either American Sloane Stephens or Germany's Julia Goerges for a semi-final spot.

US Open: Pablo Carreno Busta beats Denis Shapovalov to reach quarter-finals