Carreno Busta To Face Munar In Marbella Final

Pablo Carreno Busta (photo: Alvaro Diaz)

MARBELLA, April 10, 2021

Se habla español in Marbella – as all four semi-finalists at the AnyTech365 Andalucia Open hail from Spain and top seed Pablo Carreno Busta as well as Jaume Munar booked their spot in the title match. It is the first time in 17 years that four players from the same country have reached this stage of an ATP Tour event. Also, a quartet of Spaniards accomplished this feat in Valencia 2004.

After a rainy start on Saturday, the sun returned to Marbella later in the afternoon when Carreno Busta battled past No. 4 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(5). The World No. 15 from Gijon struck eight aces and won 73 per cent of his first-service points to advance after two hours and 11 minutes.

“It was so close. I don’t know what happened in the second set,” Carreno Busta said during his post-match on-court interview. “At the beginning of the match, I was very focussed on my game and being aggressive. After that, Albert of course started to push [back] more and [I] started to lose my level a little bit. 

“I just kept fighting all the time, and I want to thank everyone [in the crowd] for their support. This is what we missed last year, the crowd. It’s very important to play these kinds of very close matches with a crowd like this.

Alcaraz’s run comes to an end

Later on Estadio Manolo Santana, Munar stopped the run of 17-year-old wild card entry Carlos Alcaraz, who appeared in his first semi-final on the ATP Tour. The 23-year-old from Mallorca converted four of his 11 break-point chances to secure a 7-6(4), 6-4 victory in one hour and 54 minutes.

“It has been a great week, very positive,” said Alcaraz. “I have played great matches and learned a lot. Now I want to continue working well and playing at a good level.”

“I feel happy and excited. I’ve been working a lot during the past [few] months,” said Munar, who was contesting his ninth consecutive match in Marbella after reaching the ATP Challenger Tour final last week, at the same venue, for the second year in a row.

“It’s a gift for me to be here in a final, and especially in Marbella which is one of my favourite places. I feel excited… I have no words.”

Munar will play his maiden championship match on the ATP Tour, facing Carreno Busta for the first time. The latter could lift his fifth career trophy, his first since Chengdu 2019.

“A difficult match for sure, but I’ve been through difficult matches all week long. Pablo is also a very hard hitter and an intense player,” Munar said.

“It’s going to be something similar [to playing Alcaraz] but of course, Pablo has a lot more experience. He has won titles in the last years, and he’s one of the best players in the world. We know each other a lot. I have all the best wishes for tomorrow, but it’s going to be a tough one.”

Sunday’s action at the Club de Tenis Puente Romano will kick off at 12 noon local time with the doubles final when Ariel Behar from Uruguay and Gonzalo Escobar of Ecuador will take on Tomislav Brkic from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Nikola Cacic of Serbia.

The singles championship match will start not before 2 pm.