Khachanov outlasts Carreno Busta in five sets | ATP Tour

Karen Khachanov reached the quarterfinals at the US Open for the first time Sunday, enduring Pablo Carreno Busta 4-6 6-3 6-1 4-6 6-3 to continue his strong run in New York.

In a fierce duel in front of energetic fans at Louis Armstrong Stadium, the 26-year-old appeared the fresher of the two in the deciding set and triumphed in three hours and 20 minutes.

“We always have incredibly tough matches with Pablo,” said Khachanov in his on-pitch interview. “I prepared myself physically to be ready for the whole game to do my best. From the first game (Monday) I felt better and better and more confident of course.”

After Carreno Busta controlled the first set from the baseline and made just six unforced errors, Khachanov found consistency with his backhand to win the following two sets. As the Spaniard leveled the match to force a deciding set, Khachanov served well and focused on defending well past the baseline, finishing the match with 32 unforced errors to Carreno Busta’s 43.

Khachanov, making his seventh appearance at Flushing Meadows, is now in the last eight in three of the four Grand Slams. The four-time world champion at tour level reached the quarterfinals Roland Garros in 2019 and Wimbledon in 2021.

“To be honest I had a really great match against Rafa (in New York) in 2018 and good memories. But after that not so good performances in New York, so I was a bit nervous this year because I wanted to do well and I feel like I’m playing good tennis,” Khachanov said.

The 27th seed has now won his last four encounters against Montreal champions Carreno Busta and holds an ATP Head2Head series 6-3 record overall.

“I won the last three games against Pablo, that gave me confidence from the start. I think now Pablo is playing his best tennis, he won the Masters in Montreal. It’s a tough fight… I’m really happy to win,” said Khachanov.

Khachanov moves up to 22nd in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings and is next ranked on top Daniel Medvedev or Australian Nick Kyrgios.

“I prefer to just watch now, relax and watch (Medvedev-Kyrgios) in the dressing room. I can’t choose who wins, both are great players,” said Khachanov.

Khachanov, who improves to 30-20 in 2022, would return to the top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP rankings for the first time since February 2021 with a quarterfinal win. He reached his career-high No. 8 in July 2019.

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