Late Friday night, 31-year-old Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain was the last player to advance to the semifinals of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
He defeated 20-year-old Jack Draper of Great Britain, who really came into his own this week, in two sets 7-6(4), 6-1.
Carreno Busta joins the final four without dropping a set and sacrificing only one break. Still, Draper put up a valiant fight in the first set.
It all came down to the first set, which lasted 1 hour and 14 minutes. In the end, the alternating break points forced a tiebreaker.
“I think the first four games lasted 40 minutes,” said the winner. “They cost us a lot of energy, and I had to fight harder than in my previous matches. In the second set, I decided to be more combative, and that paid off.”
Carreno Busta used a tactic he’s come to rely on: moving his opponent from left to right and back to front to wear him down. The second set proved he’d chosen the right strategy, as Draper struggled to keep up.
The Spaniard scored 77 points versus 61, most of which he collected in the second set, after winning the first with 45 points against 43.
“For the first time in my life, I’m in the semifinals in Canada. I’m definitely going to fight and try to play my best game,” said Pablo Carreno Busta after the match.
On Saturday, he’ll take on Daniel Evans of Great Britain, who defeated Tommy Paul earlier in the evening.