Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP) vs.  Pablo Cuevas (URU)
It was new territory in many ways for both players. Cuevas led their head-to-head 3:1 and none of their previous matches had ever gone the distance; thus, it would be the first time they had to battle each other in a deciding set for victory. A berth in the semifinals of a Masters 1000 event was at stake for both, as well as a first time appearance in the top 20 for Carreno Busta if he could counter the nerves and Cuevas’ backhand. Who would handle the pressure better? It seemed that Carreno Busta was handling the moment better when he got off to a blistering start and won the first set 6-1. However, it was not that Carreno Busta played brilliant tennis to win; rather it was a case of Cuevas being so nervous that he could not keep the ball in the court.
Cuevas found his range as expected and Carreno Busta was forced to make the adjustment, he was not successful in doing so and Cuevas won the second set comfortably. The third set would test the will of both. Physically they were equally fit; thus, the difference would be in their mental fortitude. Pressure is a great equalizer and both players have shown a tendency to be vulnerable under pressure. Carreno Busta had to handle a couple of pressure filled matches during his recent representation of Spain in Davis Cup, so perhaps that memory came to his rescue. After dropping the second set he clawed his way, fought off match points, to the tiebreak and then played his best tennis to win the tiebreak and the match 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(4).
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