With both men looking to reach their first Grand Slam final, will it be Alexander Zverev or Pablo Carreno Busta…
With both men looking to reach their first Grand Slam final, will it be Alexander Zverev or Pablo Carreno Busta who seizes opportunity at the US Open?
Alexander Zverev vs Pablo Carreno Busta | US Open men's SF | 11/9/2020, 21.00 BSTZverev -4.5 games 21/20 Bet Now! New Customers only. 18+. T&C’s Apply. begambleaware.org.
Zverev vs Carreno Busta is live from New York on Thursday 10 September, 4pm local/9pm BST
Alexander Zverev has long been seen as a Grand Slam champion-in-waiting, but nerves almost cost him his chance to make the semifinals for the first time in New York. Can he shake them off when he faces Carreno Busta?
Pablo Carreno Busta had to battle for over four hours to shake off the challenge of Denis Shapovalov, but after two days’ rest, will he have what he needs in the tank to take down Zverev?
Read on for our preview, predictions and live streaming information.
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Zverev vs Carreno Busta: Head-to-head
Alexander Zverev beat Pablo Carreno Busta in their only previous meeting, winning 7-6(4), 6-2 in the semifinals of the Miami Masters in 2018.
Zverev vs Carreno Busta: Preview
Alexander Zverev played, in Tuesday’s quarterfinal match against Borna Coric, like a man who knew he had been given a huge opportunity at this Grand Slam by Novak Djokovic’s exit, and that’s not a compliment.
While Djokovic going out didn’t affect this match-up, knowing that it would be Pablo Carreno Busta or Denis Shapovalov waiting in the semifinals and not 17-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic – and knowing that a new male Grand Slam champion was guaranteed – the sense of being desperate not to let this opportunity slip hung in the air and Zverev might well be on the plane home if Coric hadn’t also played like he felt it.
Zverev played an abysmal first set and although he levelled, winning the second set in a tie-break, he still might not have managed to lift himself out of the mire, had Coric not hesitated when he had a chance to really put his foot down: With Zverev serving at 5-6, 15-30 in the third set, Coric was on top of the point. Instead of sticking to his guns, Coric backed off, throwing in a drop shot which Zverev tracked down for a winner. The German went on to win the third set in a tie-break and did not look back throughout the fourth for a 1-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(1), 6-3 victory.
Zverev’s old nemesis, the nervous double fault, came back to haunt him and he finished the match with 18 aces to 12 double faults, which would probably be fine if they didn’t have a tendency to arrive in battalions. Whichever way you slice it, he will have to play better to beat Carreno Busta in the semifinals. The good news is that he definitely can.
Carreno Busta played well – actually very well – in his quarterfinal against Denis Shapovalov, but it will have been a draining effort, taking over four hours; the Spaniard said himself he was ‘destroyed’ afterwards, although fortunately he has two days to rest thanks to US Open scheduling. The 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-6(4), 0-6, 6-3 victory was mainly due to Carreno Busta being absolutely clutch in the tie-breaks, and he also showed his experience in the way he managed his energy levels through the five-set match.
The attacking Shapovalov, however, will be a different challenge to Zverev. The key thing about Zverev is that he is quite capable of dropping to the back of the court and trying to grind out a win over Carreno Busta from the baseline – a tactic which probably would work, given his physical advantage over the Spaniard. Given that this will be mitigated by the extra day’s rest, however, it would be much smarter for Zverev to step in, leverage his superior power and attempt to dictate play with his backhand. Zverev has enough levels left to go to that he should win this in three or perhaps four.