MARBELLA, April 7, 2021
Top seed Pablo Carreno Busta began his title bid at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open with a 7-6(2), 6-3 second-round win over fellow Spaniard and qualifier Mario Vilella Martinez on a sunny Wednesday at the Club de Tenis Puente Romano in Marbella.
In the pair’s first tour-level meeting, the World No. 29 withstood six aces and broke his opponent’s serve one time to advance after one hour and 37 minutes.
“It was a very important match today, as I hadn’t played for several weeks,” said Carreno Busta, who competed in his first match since Dubai last month and in his first on clay this season. The 29-year-old Gijon native lost to Hungarian Marton Fucsovics in his opening round in the desert.
“It’s important to have a good start against a tough opponent to gain some confidence. The first matches of a new tournament are always difficult but I played a good level of tennis today.”
Carreno Busta, who won his only previous ATP Tour title on clay in Estoril, where he was also the No. 1 seed, in 2017, will take on No. 7 seed Soonwoon Kwon of South Korea in the quarterfinals. Kwon eased past Facundo Bagnis from Argentina 6-1, 6-3 in one hour and 15 minutes.
“I do not know much about him,” Carreno Busta said about his upcoming rival. “I just watched a couple of points during his first-round match but I will be prepared for the encounter. Today it is time enjoy the win a bit and relax.”
Earlier in the day, Albert Ramos-Vinolas edged out Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The No. 4 seed from Spain converted three of his five break-point chances to secure victory in two hours and 11 minutes.
Menudo passing! 😯
— AnyTech365 Andalucía Open (@AndaluciaOpen) April 7, 2021
“It was not a typical clay-court match. My rival tried to shorten the points throughout the match,” said Ramos-Vinolas, who has returned to the dirt after competing on hard court in Dubai, falling to Frenchman Jeremy Jardy in the first round.
“I hadn’t played for three weeks. It was a tough match today. I don’t have high expectations on this week’s tournament. I just go from day to day. The tour is very even. There are a lot of good players. I try to do my best.”
Up next for the World No. 47 from Barcelona, who has come to Marbella with his wife Helena and his eighth-month-old daughter Blanca, will be Norbert Gombos. The 30-year-old Slovakian battled past No. 8 seed Federico Delbonis of Argentina 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-6(1) in the longest match of the day. Gombos sent down eight aces and won 61 per cent of his first-service points to prevail after three hours and 20 minutes.
Heading to the @AndaluciaOpen QF 🙌
🇸🇰 Gombos d. Delbonis 🇦🇷
🇰🇷 Kwon d. Bagnis 🇦🇷
🇪🇸 Ramos-Vinolas d. Berankis 🇱🇹
🇪🇸 Carreno Busta d. Vilella 🇪🇸
— ATP Tour (@atptour) April 7, 2021