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By Adrianna Outlaw | Saturday, September 25, 2021

Pablo Carreno Busta

No. 2-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta beat Gael Monfils 7-5, 7-6(8) to set up a blockbuster Metz final vs. top-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.

Photo credit: Hamburg European Open Facebook

Poise under pressure propelled Pablo Carreno Busta into his third final of the season in Metz.

A stubborn Carreno Busta fought off four set points in the second-set tiebreaker fending off Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5, 7-6(8) to set up a blockbuster Metz final vs. top-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.

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It's the first Moselle Open between the top two seeds since 2009 when Monfils defeated German Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The 16th-ranked Carreno Busta denied Monfils' bid to reach his first final since the 2020 Rotterdam with a gritty comeback in the second-set tiebreaker. Carreno Busta saved set points at 3-6, 4-6, 5-6 and 6-7 sliding a terrific slice serve out wide to level the breaker at 7-all. 

Deadlocked at 8-8, Carreno Busta sprinted sideline-to-sideline striking a backhand pass down the line. Monfils was in prime position to knock off an open-court volley but netted his forehand volley to hand the Spaniard a second match point. Carreno Busta coaxed a final error to improve to 35-13 on the season.

In today's first semifinal, Hurkacz stung seven aces against no double faults stopping German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk 6-4, 7-6(4).

It's the third final of the season for Hurkacz, who beat Jannik Sinner to capture his biggest title at the Miami Open in April after opening the season defeating Sebastian Korda in the Delray Beach final.

The 24-year-old Hurkacz broke Gojowczyk in the 10th game to take the opening set. Hurkacz dropped serve for the first time all tournament to start the second set. The Pole broke back to even the set after eight games and played a cleaner tiebreaker raising his 2021 record to 28-16.

Contesting his seventh semifinal of the season, Carreno Busta played steadier, shrewder tennis on pivotal points than former champion Monfils in rallying from behind in both sets.

The acrobatic Monfils blistered a forehand return that helped him break in the second game of the match. Monfils stamped successive love holds for a 3-0 lead. Digging in, Carreno Busta broke back in the seventh and 11th games reeling off seven of the next nine games and serving out the opening set at love.


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