Friday, 17 March 2017

Carreno Busta and Wawrinka into semi

The two men's semi finalists determined on Day 11 at Indian Wells both worked hard to reach the final four.

In a battle of the Pablos, Spain's Carreno Busta initially wiped the court with Uruguayan Cuevas,  in set one winning 75% of points on his own serve, while taking 55% of those with the South American at the line.
Cuevas had beaten Carreno Busta in the São Paulo semi finals just a fortnight ago (en route to winning the title), so this looked like the perfect revenge.

Cuevas lifted markedly in set two with a return of the Brazil form, pressuring Carreno Busta into error and levelling the match at 1-6 6-3.

In a riveting third set, the two exchanged one service break each before Carreno Busta faced the first match point at 4-5 30-40.  In a most committed fashion, Cuevas dived for a backhand, with no care that this was a hard court.  Carreno Busta saved the point with a regulation smash, and Cuevas for his effort received bloody knees and fingers.

Another match pint in the twelfth game was saved by Carreno Busta who proceeded to win the tie break 7-4 and the match 6-1 3-6 7-6.
Now a semi finalist, Pablo Carreno Busta had never previously made it past the third round of a Masters tournament.

Pablo will have to navigate past reigning US Open champ Stan Wawrinka, if he is to make the final.

Stan took three sets to finally have the better of Dominic Thiem.  
It wasn't an ideal start for Wawrinka, dropping serve in the opening game of the match, but he hit back immediately and the two played a high standard after that, apart from Thiem's deplorable first serve percentage, which he somehow managed to overcome.
Until the tenth game, where Stan pounced.  6-4 and Thiem under real pressure.

The Austrian response was expected and effective.  The first serve percentage was back with a vengeance, so much so that Thiem did not face a single break point for set two.  Instead it was Wawrinka who was placed under the spotlight - not that his level of tennis had dropped appreciably.
This match deserved to go three sets, and Thiem worked over the Swiss serve in the third game of the second set to force the decider.

Wawrinka won the first three games of set three but Thiem fought back again to level at 3-3.  No more service breaks for the match, although both players won some critical points which may have saved them.  In fact Thiem saved a match point at 5-6 and pushed the match into a tie break.
Stan played the tie break with far more composure and patience, and the relative inexperience of Thiem showed in the high pressure situation.
Wawrinka took the tie break 7-2 and the quarter final 6-4 4-6 7-6. 

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