Back in 2017, Pablo Carreño Busta reached the US Open semi-final for the first time in his career. It was also the first time he had reached the second-to-last round of a Major. Not only did the result come as a surprise it was also treated as a one-off.
This presumptuousness did not sustain itself all too well as Carreño Busta made it to the penultimate round at Flushing Meadows for the second time in his career, in 2020. What, however, did circulate with much gusto the second time around was chaos in how the result had come about.
His performance was evaluated on the basis of what his opponent – Novak Djokovic – had done instead of the effort Carreño Busta had put in trying to make it that far. Not just in that specific tournament but also in his career, across these separating years.
“I think I am a better player than three years ago,” Carreño Busta said when TennisWorld USA spoke with him after his opening-round upset in Antwerp. “But during these three years, I was injured a lot of times.
I needed to regain my confidence to play my best game and it’s important to be careful to not have to get injured”.
Pablo Carreño Busta revisits past year's successes
Injuries circle every athlete’s professional orbit and Carreño Busta, too, did not get any easy passes in this regard.
He has had to deal with injuries at different points in his professional timeline, including in 2017 when he was laid low and forced out of Wimbledon with a fracture to his abdomen. Then, again in 2019, he was out of action for slightly over two months having forced to undergo a surgery in his right shoulder.
Carreño Busta made a compelling turnaround post-injury that year, winning his fourth ATP title, and reaching the semi-finals in three other tournaments (Antalya, Hamburg and Stockholm). Reflecting on these results, the world no.
15 noted, “I think, at the end of the last year after the US Open, I started to play better and better. I won an ATP title in Chengdu; I made the semi-final in Stockholm”. These results, the 29-year-old added, aided him to do well this season, too, despite the problems it has brought along with it.
“So, I now have the rhythm, the confidence during this year,” Carreño Busta said. “The tournaments that I played this year are very good level that the results are there. This year, it was a tough year for everybody but after that, the results were very good for me”.
It is, thus, the objective to score more such good results this year that Pablo Carreño Busta carries on, in his next event, the Erste Bank Open in Vienna. Photo Courtesy: European Open Antwerp