Eighth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz racked up 18 aces while knocking off fourth-seeded Casper Ruud 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday to reach the final of the National Bank Open at Montreal.
In the late match, Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta made it through to his first final at an ATP Masters 1000 event, topping Great Britain’s Daniel Evans 7-5, 6-7 (7), 6-2.
“The finals are always very tricky,” Hurkacz said before the Carreno Busta-Evans match. “The best players from each half are playing there, so obviously whoever I’m going to play will have a lot of momentum, a lot of confidence. It’s just going to be a super tough battle.”
Hurkacz hit 47 winners, converted 80.8 percent of his first-serve points and saved five of eight breaks points while reaching the final. He committed 18 unforced errors.
Hurkacz also will be seeking his second 1000-level title. He won the Miami Open in 2021.
Ruud had 34 winners against 12 unforced errors. The Norwegian converted 80 percent of his first-serve points.
Ruud won the final three games to take the first set, but Hurkacz was the stronger player in the following two sets. He won the first four games of the final set to seize control before he finished off the victory in two hours, two minutes.
Carreno Busta needed 2 hours, 58 minutes to put away Evans, but the match could have ended much sooner. The Spaniard had a match point at 6-5 in the second-set tiebreaker, but Evans rallied to level the contest.
The third set was tied 2-2 before Carreno Busta took the final four games. Carreno Busta wound up with a slight edge in winners (43-40), but he was able to overcome committing more unforced errors (34-22).
“It was fun for the crowd but for me it was tough,” Carreno Busta said. “I had a match point in the second set but he served pretty good so I couldn’t do anything. When you have a match point and have to play another set, it’s always hard to do it.
“Mentally I think I was very good. Probably the beginning of the third set was the hardest part of the match. But after that, I thought I had to be more aggressive, try to push a lot, try to go to the net, and it was good.”
Carreno Busta is aiming to become the first unseeded player to win the National Bank Open since Argentina’s Guillermo Canas accomplished the feat 20 years ago.
The final is the second of the year for Carreno Busta, who fell to Carlos Alcaraz in the title match at Barcelona in April.
–Field Level Media