ESTORIL, May 5, 2017
Two of the top four seeds at the Millennium Estoril Open advanced to the semi-finals.
In the opening match on Friday, Pablo Carreno Busta defeated Nicolas Almagro 6-2, 6-4 in a repeat of last year’s final. The World No. 21 from Spain capitalized on all of his four break points to advance in one hour and 10 minutes.
“Windy conditions made it pretty tough to play today but I am very pleased to get through to the semis,” the tournament’s top ranked told afterwards.
Carreno-Busta will next face David Ferrer, who eased past US-American Ryan Harrison, winning 6-4, 6-0. Ferrer broke a five-match losing streak with his win over local wild card Frederico Ferreira Silva in the quarterfinals and will appear in the stage of the final four for the first time this season.
“I faced a pretty tough opponent today but I had a good start into the second set, gaining an early break. Overall I played a solid match,” Ferrer was pleased with his performance.
“I await a competitve match against Pablo. He has very good shots with great power. He’s very complete, but I am prepared to take on another difficult challenge.” Ferrer leads his head-to-head with Carreno Busta 1-0, but they haven’t played in three years.
In the second semi-final, South African Kevin Anderson, who knocked out the tournament’s number two Richard Gasquet, winning 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 in two hours and 40 minutes, will next face Gilles Muller of Luxembourg. The third seed fought past Taro Daniel of Japan, rallying 5-7, 6-2, 6-3.
“It was very frustrating because I had chances to win the first set. I told myself I shouldn’t be losing focus like that and just tried to regroup because Taro was playing well. I started to refocus and hit more aggressively and I played well at the end,” said Muller. “I’m expecting a tough match against Kevin. He was in the Top 10 and then had some injuries, but now he’s back playing very strongly.”