Pablo Carreno Busta lost both the matches he played at the ATP Finals in London as an alternate, first to Dominic Thiem on Wednesday and then to Grigor Dimitrov on Friday, but not without trying. The world no. 10 replaced the injured Rafael Nadal in the Pete Sampras group, which was an unexpected development.
'It's tough because last week during Paris I was at home, not on holidays, but waiting for the results,' the Spaniard said after his 6-1, 6-1 loss to Dimitrov. 'I didn't know if I [would] finish my season or if I [would] have to play here. Finally, I was first alternate. We came here to start our pre-season preparation. We didn't know if Rafa was ready to play or not, but finally he played. When he played the first match, we said, "Okay, probably we won't play (anymore) this year." But finally we played. Well, it was not the best way to play, of course. But when you have this opportunity, you have to try to do your best. On Wednesday against Dominic, it was a really good match. Against Dimitrov, maybe I was a little bit tired, and of course Grigor was playing unbelievable. On Wednesday, he beat Goffin [easily]. Well done for him and good luck in semi-finals.'
Carreno Busta, however, wants to take the positive, and there are a lot of positives for him to absorb. 'It was the best season of my career. I am very, very happy because I finished [as the] no. 10. And the goal for this year was to be in the top-20, so I think I complete my goals. I think that I improved a lot this year, [by] playing more aggressive than last year, [by] playing better, [and by] believing more in myself. I think I'm a [better] player than last year. Now thinking about the next season, [I want] to try to improve more and try to be better.'
About his next plans, Carreno Busta added: 'Well, now I will rest three, four days, then I will return to Barcelona to start to do fitness with my fitness coach. Probably in two weeks we will start with tennis and fitness four, five more weeks. I will start [with] the exhibition in Abu Dhabi. Then I will start in Doha - Doha, Melbourne. We have five weeks to prepare [for] the new season, to improve my tennis. I have chances to be better. I will try to do it.'