Text: By ATP Staff
Pablo Carreno Busta could not have asked for a much tougher first-round draw at the Nordea Open in Bastad on Monday, but the Spaniard found an impressive level to overcome 16-time tour-level titlist Stan Wawrinka at the ATP 250 event.
The fifth-seeded Carreno Busta claimed a break in each set to prevail 7-5, 6-4 in a high-quality encounter against the former World No. 3, who showed flashes of his trademark thunderous groundstrokes in just his sixth tour-level tournament since missing 13 months with a foot injury.
“It was a very tough match for me in the first round,” said Carreno Busta in his on-court interview. “Against Stan it is always very difficult to start the tournament, so I’m happy because I thought my level was good. I played very solid from the baseline. It was a bit difficult with the wind, but I thought my serve was very good throughout the match. It was very important to my game.”
Carreno Busta has endured a tough run on the clay of late, going 1-4 on the surface since reaching the final at the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in April. Yet despite Wawrinka firing 10 aces and winning 90 per cent (27/30) of points behind his first serve to keep the Spaniard under pressure in Sweden, Carreno Busta was clinical in converting two of his six break point opportunities to triumph in one hour, 24 minutes.
It is Carreno Busta’s maiden ATP Head2Head victory against Wawrinka, whose three previous triumphs against the Spaniard included a semi-final victory at the 2017 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Carreno Busta has reached the quarter-finals twice in four previous appearances in Bastad, and he will attempt to make that three from five in a second-round clash with countryman Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Argentine qualifier Tomas Martin Etcheverry.
Also on Monday, Laslo Djere produced an impressive all-around display to ease past #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti. The Serbian broke his opponent’s serve four times and dropped just six points behind his own first delivery on his way to a 6-3, 7-5 victory on tournament debut. Djere’s second-round opponent will be seventh seed Holger Rune or Swiss qualifier Marc-Andrea Huesler.
There was also opening-round success for the only Swede in the draw, Elias Ymer, who edged Daniel Altmaier 6-4, 7-6(5) in the pair’s first tour-level meeting. The 26-year-old wild card has won his opening match three times in eight appearances at home in Bastad, but he will be looking to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in his next match against third seed Diego Schwartzman.