“Was Not Able to Return Well”: Rafael Nadal Rallies Past Pablo Carreno Busta at Rolex Paris Masters 2020

Published 11/06/2020, 3:05 PM EST
Tennis – ATP Masters 1000 – Paris Masters – AccorHotels Arena, Paris, France – November 5, 2020 Spain’s Rafael Nadal during his third round match against Australia’s Jordan Thompson REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Top seed at Rolex Paris Masters 2020 Rafael Nadal made the best possible start of the quarterfinal match against his compatriot Pablo Carreno Busta. Previously, before their encounter in Paris-Bercy this year, World Number 15 Carreno Busta had never pulled off a match against Nadal out of the six times they have met.

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And on Friday, Rafa’s winning streak was extended to seven. World Number two Nadal defeated ninth seed Carreno Busta 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, and reached the semifinals at Rolex Paris Masters for the fifth time in his career. During the post-match interview, Nadal said, ” I was not able to return well in the first two sets.”

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“Today my biggest mistake was the rest. I couldn’t subtract well and Pablo was always right and played very well in front. He had an easy ball to handle and I couldn’t play my game. It was difficult but I could get the victory and now to give it. all in what follows,” he said.

Rafael Nadal vs Pablo Carreno Busta

First set

In the opening set, the match was balanced until 3-3, with Carreno Busta coming up with sensational winners and perfectly constructing the points, Nadal’s serve was broken at 4-3.

Within a blink of an eye, Carreno Busta backed up his break and progressed to seal the set 6-4. He slammed a total of six forehand winnners in the set and that litrally left Nadal dumbstruck on the Parisian hard-court.

Second set

In the second set, Busta earned two break points in the opening game with his beautifully ball striking. However, with warrior-like tennis from Nadal and Busta placing the balls a few millimetres wide, Rafa held his serve at 1-0.

Rafa was playing a safe game in the set, and committed just four unforced errors until 4-3. With Busta counter-punching, there was no room for errors and played an impressive game altogether.

At 4-3, with Carreno Busta on serve, he had bright chances to hold his serve to love. But with Rafa playing phenomenal tennis, he stretched the game to deuce and later earned two break points.

His countryman Busta was vigilant with his service games, with his exceptional play at the net, he made a gutsy hold at 4-4. With their impeccable serves, the set had all the possible chances for tiebreak, however the feisty Spanish legend changed the outcome.

He saw the first set point of the match at 6-5 (Ad-40), with Busta making an error on the particular point, the Spaniards drove the exciting match in Paris-Bercy into the third set.

Rafael Nadal is back in the match!

Third set

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After Rafael Nadal made an easy hold in the opening game, Pablo Carreno Busta fended off two break points for a hold at 1-1 with the fourth ace of the match. At 2-1, Busta played an errorneous game which aided Nadal to break him to love and lead by 3-1 in the deciding set.

From that instant onwards, there was no looking back and Rafael Nadal backed up the break with a love hold in 90 seconds of time. With one-way traffic on Nadal’s road he closed out the match 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.

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Mahalakshmi Murali

1906 articles

Mahalakshmi Murali joined EssentiallySports in 2018 as a tennis author and has gone on to pen more than 1800 engaging articles, probing into various aspects of the sport and its illustrious players. With her expertise on the sport, Mahalakshmi has interviewed stalwarts from the sport such as Serena WIlliams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou and Kevin Anderson’s physio, Carlos Costa. Equipped with her vast experience and a keen understanding of the sport, Mahalakshmi now co-heads the tennis department.

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