US Open: Pablo Carreno Busta into his first fourth round

It was the first meeting between the Frenchman and the Spaniard and although there were a couple of tentative moments in the second and third sets, there was never any doubt that Pablo Carreno Busta would be victorious.

US Open: Pablo Carreno Busta into his first fourth round
Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images-Pablo Carreno Busta serves his way to victory.
Pablo Carreno Busta
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Nicolas Mahut

Pablo Carreno Busta is one of the lucky ones, he has played three qualifiers to get to the fourth round of the US Open; everyone would take that draw at a major any day. However, qualifiers can be dangerous and the Spaniard still had to play well to get there. Although he won in straight sets, it was not a straight forward victory because Nicolas Mahut was very competitive the entire match.

Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images-Nicolas Mahut sneaks in for a volley.
Photo: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images-Nicolas Mahut sneaks in for a volley.

A nervous start for the Frenchman gave the Spaniard the early break in set one and that was all he needed to win the first set. The second and third sets were a bit more complicated for the Spaniard as there was more evidence of the brilliant tennis Mahut is capable of producing.

Unfortunately, he was a tad too inconsistent to maintain the momentum. He was never discouraged despite the score but his positive attitude was not enough to combat the off-day on his strokes that are usually quite dependable.

Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images-Carreno Busta hits a forehand winner.
Photo: Steven Ryan/Getty Images-Carreno Busta hits a forehand winner.

Mahut had to qualify to get to the main draw

Mahut was once ranked as high as number thirty-seven in singles and he is still a top ten player in doubles, so he was not a push-over by any means; however, perhaps the toll of qualifying has finally caught up to the Frenchman. Today he was not as sharp with his volleys as he can be and his serve also let him down at crucial moments. He was trying to get back in the top hundred in singles and will do so after getting to the third round; however, the competitor in him would have wanted to win this match.

Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images: Carreno Busta hits a forehand return down the line.
Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images: Carreno Busta hits a forehand return down the line.

Understandably, Carreno Busta got a little tight when he realized how close he was to getting to his first fourth round at the US Open and he started the third set by dropping his serve. However, more inconsistency on the part of Mahut prevented him from consolidating the break and he was immediately broken back. With the end in sight, the Spaniard tightened his focus and broke a second time to win the match.

Not a good serving day for the Frenchman

Too many unforced errors, winning less than sixty percent on his first serve and less than fifty percent on his second serve explains why Mahut lost this match in straight sets. In comparison, Carreno Busta was above seventy-five percent in first serve points won and above fifty-five percent in second serve points won. Perhaps the biggest difference in the match was the small number of unforced errors (thirteen) made by the Spaniard. 

Carreno Busta won 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 and awaits the winner of the Denis Shapovalov vs Kyle Edmund match.