Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta was made to work hard on Saturday at the Moselle Open as he rallied past Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 7-6(8) in front of a lively crowd in Metz to reach his third tour-level final of the season.
The Spaniard battled back from 1-4 behind in the first set and saved four set points in the second-set tie-break as he showed great defensive skills to advance after one hour and 49 minutes and level their ATP Head2Head Series at 3-3.
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The World No. 16 has enjoyed a strong season, winning titles in Marbella and Hamburg, while also overcoming Novak Djokovic to capture the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Carreno Busta is making his third appearance in Metz, having enjoyed a run to the last eight in 2015.
In a high-quality match, Monfils looked to overpower Carreno Busta with his heavy groundstrokes but could not close out the opening set from 4-1 ahead as the Spaniard hit with consistent depth to frustrate the Frenchman. Carreno Busta then saved set points at 3/6, 4/6, 5/6 and 6/7 in an epic second-set tie-break, sealing his victory when Monfils hit a forehand wide.
Monfils, who lifted the trophy in Metz in 2009, was competing in his first tour-level semi-final since Dubai in 2020.