Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta produced an impressive performance on Friday at the Moselle Open, overcoming #NextGenATP Dane Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in a high-quality match to reach the semi-finals in Metz.
The second seed, who defeated Mikael Ymer in his opening match, hit with great consistency and depth against Rune, winning 77 per cent (43/56) of his first-serve points to advance in two hours and 11 minutes.
“He is playing really well, he is going to improve a lot in the next months,” Carreno Busta said in his on-court interview. “I am happy as it was a very important victory for me. When you play this kind of player you have all the pressure to win and at the end it was a really good battle.”
The 30-year-old is making his third appearance in Metz and has enjoyed a strong season. The Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist lifted the trophy on home soil in Marbella, before capturing his first ATP 500 title on clay in Hamburg.
#NextGenATP star Rune was aiming to reach his first ATP Tour semi-final, having upset fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego en route to the last eight. The 18-year-old qualifier will look to finish the season strongly as he aims to qualify for the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan.
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“At the beginning I was more comfortable but then in the second set he started to be more and more aggressive with the returns and I wasn’t as comfortable then,” Carreno Busta added. “It will be a tough match [against Monfils]. I will be younger in the next match! I will try to do my best, Gael is an incredible player.”
It is the first time Monfils, who lifted the title in Metz in 2009, has reached the last four at a tour-level event since February 2020 when he enjoyed a run to the semi-finals in Dubai. The 35-year-old fired 11 aces and broke four times to advance in 68 minutes.