MONTREAL (AFP) – Pablo Carreno Busta seized his first ATP Masters title yesterday, spoiling Hubert Hurkacz’s perfect record in ATP finals with a Montreal Masters triumph.
The 23rd-ranked Spaniard beat eighth-seeded Hurkacz 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 to become the first unseeded winner in Canada in two decades.
Carreno Busta notched his seventh ATP title, but his first in an elite Masters 1000 event in his first opportunity.
“It’s an amazing feeling to be a Masters 1000 winner,” Carreno Busta said. “It’s the best title of my career for sure.
“I know that during all the week we worked very hard, also the weeks before. It’s very important to be very positive all the time. It’s not my best season this year. I lost some matches that probably other seasons I didn’t lose, but I just tried to continue believing in my team, in myself and in my game.”
Carreno Busta became the first unseeded winner in Canada in two decades.
Poland’s Hurkacz had been unbeaten in five finals, Carreno Busta putting the first blemish on that record in just over an hour and three quarters.
He survived 18 aces from Hurkacz to become the first Canadian champion ranked outside the Top 20 since number 43 Andrei Pavel in 2001 at Montreal.
Carreno Busta is the third Spanish winner after five-time champion Rafael Nadal and Manuel Orantes in 1975.
The first two sets were mirror images with Hurkacz breaking in the sixth game on his way to winning the opener.
In the second Carreno Busta, who is projected to rise to 14th in the world, claimed a break in the second game and held his margin to leave the match hanging at one set each.
Two breaks in the final set sealed the win for Carreno Busta, who wrapped it up on his first match point as he broke Hurkacz for the win.
“I lost the first set, just one break, but you know when you play against these kinds of players who have a really good serve it’s really tough to be there,” Carreno Busta said.
“But I just continued believing because I know that I was playing better and better. I tried to be aggressive with my serves and I could make two breaks, enough to be a winner.”
Hurkacz said it was a deserved victory. “Pablo was playing really, really well throughout the whole match,” Hurkacz said. “It just was tough to play against him.
“Maybe I wasn’t serving as good as I can. But definitely Pablo deserved to win today.”
He added, “It’s definitely a good week, (I made) a lot of improvements. I’ll learn a lot from that week and move on to the next one.”