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Alexander Zverev beats Pablo Carreño Busta in US Open semi-final – as it happeened

The Guardian
Saturday 12 September 2020 01:54

Alexander Zverev recovered from two sets down to beat Pablo Carreño Busta and reach his first slam final. 12.54am BST That’s all from me tonight. Now please follow Bryan Armen Graham’s report for Daniil Medvedev vs Dominic Thiem, which will almost certainly be much more than this first match. Thanks very much for following along. Related: Daniil Medvedev v Dominic Thiem: US Open men's semi-final – live! 12.49am BST Potential #USOpen Final Head-to-Heads
* [5] @AlexZverev leads [3] @DaniilMedwed 5-1
* [2] @ThiemDomi leads [5] Alexander Zverev 7-2 12.46am BST Alexander Zverev acknowledges crowd of maybe 20 people as he celebrates reaching the US Open men's singles final 36 26 63 64 63 over Pablo Carreno Busta.

"I'm through to my first Grand Slam final. That's all that matters," Zverev tells ESPN's Brad Gilbert after the match. 12.45am BST Fair play to Alexander Zverev.

Two of the worst sets of tennis I’ve ever seen to go 0-2 down, but he persevered and worked his way back to win from that position for the first time in his career.

Into the #USOpen final vs. either Dominic Thiem or Daniil Medvedev. 12.44am BST Guys who win 3 Masters 1000s usually end up making Slam finals and maybe winning Slams. Zverev took the scenic route here, but he's only 23 and the talent is definitely there. 12.43am BST Alexander Zverev:
“I was actually looking at my scoreboard when I was down two sets to love. I was like, I can’t believe it. I’m playing in the semi-final, I’m supposed to be the favourite and I’m down two sets to love, I’m playing that bad. I knew that I had to come up with better tennis and I knew that I had to be more stable.” 12.41am BST After a horrendous start, an excellent recovery from Zverev to reach his first slam final. He slipped into an excellent service rhythm and slowly ground Carreno Busta down from the baseline. Neither of his last two matches have been good, but he has shown that he is prepared to grind til the end. Impressive. 12.37am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 *3-5 Alexander Zverev. Zverev is just destroying second serves now. He finished this service game with a 132 second serve, then a 136 service winner. He stands one game away from his first slam final. 12.33am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 3-4* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta continues to ask the right questions since he opened the set by dropping serve. This time he held to love, secured with an excellent backhand down the line which elicited a forehand error from Zverev. 12.31am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 *2-4 Alexander Zverev. Another easy hold for Zverev. A great representation of his confidence right now: he threw down a huge 130mph second serve on game point, swatting home an easy forehand after the return barely dribbled over. It will takee a drastic loss of focus for Zverev to come under threat on serve again. He is serving incredibly well. 12.27am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 2-3* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta breezes through a hold to 15, closed off with some accurate serving on his own. He is making it clear that he intends to be present if there is any wobble from Zverev. We’ll see. 12.24am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 *1-3 Alexander Zverev. Zverev keeps himself ahead with ease, sealing a quick love hold with a sliding ace down the T. So far, there don’t appear to be too many nerves there. 12.22am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 0-1* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta keeps himself alive with some gutsy play under pressure. At 30-30, he swept into the net behind a crosscourt forehand, eventually finishing with a couple of volleys. On game point, he nailed a lovely backhand down-the-line. At the very least, Zverev will have to keep his serving level up. 12.19am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 *0-2 Alexander Zverev. It took a couple of game points, but Zverev comes through a tough, bruising hold to consolidate his break and move up 2-0 in the fifth. We’ll see if he swings a little freer with some distance between himself and Carreno Busta. 12.12am BST Fifth set: Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 0-1* Alexander Zverev. What a miserable start to the final set from Carreno Busta. He sprayed a forehand wide, then he attempted a terrible forehand drop shot that fell into the net for 0-30. At 15-40, he eventually dumped a sad forehand into the net. Zverev is in the lead for the first time today. 12.04am BST Carreno Busta is now taking a medical timeout. The issue seems to be his left hip. 12.03am BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-6 Alexander Zverev. We’re off to a fifth set! From a 15-30 deficit, Zverev finds three huge serves to turn it around. A great effort from Zverev after beginning the match with two horrendous sets of tennis. He will start the final set with the momentum. 12.00am BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 4-5* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta recovers from triple set point down to hold serve. After some good serving from the Spaniard on the first two, Zverev dumped a second serve backhand return into the net on the third. Carreno escaped with some great tennis, including a brilliant dropshot at deuce, after which he hit Zverev from close range at the net. That was a great hold and now the German must serve it out. 11.53pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 *3-5 Alexander Zverev. This time, Zverev had no problems consolidating the break. He breezed through a hold to love with more huge serving. Carreno Busta will now serve to stay in the set. 11.52pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 3-4* Alexander Zverev. Zverev breaks! Carreno Busta has been barely hanging on for a while and at 15-15 he threw in consecutive routine unforced errors to fall down double break point. Zverev couldn’t take the first opportunity, but on the second he stepped in, moved forward behind a big forehand and buried the overhead. Surely he won’t lose his serve again? 11.45pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 *3-3 Alexander Zverev. That was a very good hold of serve from Zverev, who found his first serve and breezed through to 15. The pressure immediately returns to the shoulders of the Spaniard. 11.43pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 3-2* Alexander Zverev. An extremely good hold of serve for the Spaniard with some excellent clutch serving. At 30-30, he found a huge unreturned serve down the T. When he failed to take the game point, he did exactly the same at deuce. On his second game point, found a third brilliant unreturned serve to hold. 11.37pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 *2-2 Alexander Zverev. Please forget the final sentence of the previous update. Just as Zverev had a chance to put some distance between the two and begin his march towards a fifth set, he threw in a slew of unforced errors, concluding with a double fault at 0-30 and then a backhand error at 0-40. Back on serve. 11.34pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 1-2* Alexander Zverev. Zverev breaks! Carreno Busta is beginning to fall apart a little. He is so nervous. After riding his luck and saving the first break point at 30-40, Carreno Busta threw in two unforced errors from deuce to hand over his serve with little fight. As Carreno Busta’s form falls, Zverev is finding much greater length and he looks very comfortable. The match has changed. 11.27pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 *1-1 Alexander Zverev. There are absolutely no nerves on Alexander Zverev’s side of the court right now. He pulls off another love hold, this time with an excellent forehand drive volley winner, and the pressure returns to the shoulders of the Spaniard. 11.25pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 1-0* Alexander Zverev. Nervy, nervy times for Carreno Busta, who opened the fourth set with a series of errors and immediately had to face break point. At 30-30, he shanked a routine backhand wide to offer up a break point to start the fourth.However, Carreno Busta responded well. He scuppered the break point with a solid unreturned serve and then he eventually found two consecutive big serves under pressure to hold. Huge. 11.19pm BST Alexander Zverev’s third set stats:Winners - 11 11.19pm BST An email from NickyWhy is this match not on TV?I was so looking forward to it...I am really upset. 11.18pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 3-6 Alexander Zverev. Alexander Zverev breezes through his fourth love hold in the third set to march into a fourth. Suddenly, this match looks completely different and the early stages of the fourth set will be so important. 11.15pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 *3-5 Alexander Zverev. After opening with his first double fault of the match, a quick, strong hold to 15 from Carreno Busta. A good recovery. Zverev will have to serve out the set. 11.12pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 *2-5 Alexander Zverev. This time, Zverev made no mistake on his attempt to consolidate the break. He swept through an easy love hold with enormous serving. This match just got interesting. 11.12pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 2-4* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta is getting tense out here. After falling down 0-30 with a couple of break points, he dragged himself back to 30-30 after a lovely drop shot. At 30-30 Zverev played a brilliant aggressive point, dictating with his backhand and then sweeping into the net. On break point, the Carreno Busta backhand badly broke down, eventually rolling into the net to restore Zverev’s break. 11.06pm BST Zverev so far today on his backhand, usually his better wing:

Backhand winners: 2

Backhand unforced errors: 14#USOpen 11.04pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 *2-3 Alexander Zverev. In the blink of an eye, Zverev’s 3 minutes of quality tennis are over. Zverev immediately became tentative again as he stepped up to the baseline to serve, spraying errors and shanking a particularly poor forehand to fall down 0-40. On the second break point, Zverev shanked another forehand. Back on serve. 11.02pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 1-3* Alexander Zverev. All of a sudden, Zverev breaks serve and he is actually playing some quality tennis, moving closer to the baseline and looking to dictate. After a nice forehand down-the-line, he moved to the net and forced an error to lead 0-30. At 0-30, Carreno Busta sent a routine forehand long. Zverev took the break at the second opportunity, sealed with another really nice forehand down-the-line.This is a start. Let’s see if he can consolidate the break with a hold. 10.56pm BST World No.27 Carreno Busta is bidding to become the 2nd-lowest-ranked US Open finalist in ATP rankings history (since 1973). Only 2017 US Open runner-up Kevin Anderson was ranked lower at No.32. 10.55pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 *1-2 Alexander Zverev. Well, this is different. The two players open with three quick love holds in succession, powered by great serving to open the set. Zverev has now won 12 points in a row on his serve, which is a start.On Amazon Prime, Daniela Hantuchova just referred to this as a “quite diabolical” performance from Zverev. Even that feels like an understatement. 10.52pm BST Alexander Zverev has played a horrible pair of sets today, but it would appear that Boris Becker is putting in a far more embarrassing performance.Boris Becker commentating Zverev's match for Eurosport Germany, saying: "I have to say, the umpire is extremely pretty. You eat with your eyes." Any questions? #UsOpen 10.49pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 *0-1 Alexander Zverev. A rare good service game from Zverev to hold, sealed to love with a 125mph ace down the T. He swung freely there and picked off a couple of nice forehands, we’ll see if this dire score may actually ease some of the pressure and allow him to impose his game on this match. 10.46pm BST Alexander Zverev has never won a match after losing the first two sets pic.twitter.com/FhUGdhfVFA 10.46pm BST Unforced errors in the second set:Pablo Carreno Busta - 3 10.45pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 6-2 Alexander Zverev. Pablo Carreno Busta is a set away from his first slam final! That was very tough, but Carreno Busta did just enough to hold serve and take a two set lead. The Spaniard gave up couple of unforced errors to fall down 0-30, but he responded well, pulling himself back to 30-30. At 30-30, he nailed a lovely sliding ace out wide. On his first set point, Carreno Busta sent a forehand wide but he shook the frustration off immediately, eventually closing with a great forehand down-the line.
10.39pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 *5-2 Alexander Zverev. Zverev followed the break with a quick love hold. This is very similar to how the first set ended, and once again the Spaniard really shouldn’t play with his food here. He cannot allow Zverev to generate any momentum. 10.38pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 5-1* Alexander Zverev. Finally, Zverev gets on the board in the second set and not without some help from his opponents. Carreno Busta opened up the game with a slew of errors to fall down 0-40, but Zverev couldn’t take any of the three opportunities, dragging the game back to deuce by missing a forehand sitter. The Spaniard missed another forehand at deuce and Zverev finally stepped in and slotted a lovely backhand down the line return winner to break. 10.33pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 *5-0 Alexander Zverev. After a long 12+ minute deuce game which swung from break point to game point and back again, Carreno Busta breaks for a third time and he will serve for a bagel. This one included ample Zverev forehand errors, a double fault and after bringing up his fifth game point, even his favoured backhand finally crumbled. After shanking a backhand on the first game point, he did so again on break point. This is a dire performance from Zverev so far and he rightfully looks miserable.
10.21pm BST Pablo Carreño embracing this US Open semifinal fully.
Alexander Zverev holding it at arm's length

Set and a double-break lead for the underdog 10.20pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 4-0* Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta looks so comfortable right now and he has elevated his game through Zverev’s struggled. He is particularly hitting his forehand beautifully now: He opened with a beautiful forehand down-the-line, then after a Zverev forehand error he swept into the net with another lovely forehand down-the-line. He closed with a third brilliant forehand of the game.Carreno Busta has hit zero (0!) unforced errors in the second set. 10.16pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 *3-0 Alexander Zverev. Somehow, impossibly, this is getting even worse from Zverev. From 15-15, he threw in back to back double faults to face double break point. On the second break point, he dumped a forehand into the net.This has just been an awful performance from Zverev and very similar to how he started with a 1-6 2-4 deficit to Borna Coric. But we saw how that one ended and Carreno Busta needs to be focused here. He simply cannot let Zverev back into this set. 10.12pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 2-0* Alexander Zverev. Pablo Carreno Busta sure knows how to consolidate a break. After that tricky, complicated opening game of the set, he throws in a completely uncomplicated love hold. Great serving and assured aggression behind the first shot. 10.10pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 *1-0 Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta opens set two with a break! Zverev’s second serve is starting to falter and he double faulted at 30-30. After saving the first break point with a great serve-forehand 1-2 and then generating two separate game points, he threw in a second double fault of the game. At deuce, he dropped a limp forehand into the net. Carreno Busta finally had enough of this long, messy game on his second break point, nailing a brilliant backhand down the line winner to break serve. 10.00pm BST First set stats: Pablo Carreno Busta: 67% first serve points won, 46% receiving points won, 7 winners, 9 unforced errors. 9.58pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 6-3 Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta takes the first set! He was clearly feeling the nerves and after moving up 30-15 and dictating the following point, he dumped an easy forehand into the net. Zverev was just putting the ball in centre of the court and daring his lower-ranked opponent to miss, but he couldn’t even do that. From 30-30, Zverev threw in two bad, routine backhand errors to hand over the set. This is not pretty. 9.55pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta *5-3 Alexander Zverev. Finally, Zverev has built some momentum. Great serving from him to quickly roll through to secure his second hold of the match, sealed with a nice backhand volley winner. Carreno Busta will serve for the set again with ample pressure on his shoulders now. 9.53pm BST The camera just panned on Azarenka, who is chilling in her suite. What an incredible performance from her yesterday to battle back against a red-hot Serena Williams. 9.51pm BST Here is Kevin Mitchell on tomorrow’s women’s final between Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka. Related: Osaka v Azarenka: two champions but US Open can have only one winner | Kevin Mitchell 9.50pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 5-2* Alexander Zverev. An unexpected lapse in concentration from Carreno Busta there, who threw in a couple of errors to immediately face a 0-40 deficit. He saved the first two, but then Zverev finally stepped into the court and rifled a lovely cross court forehand winner to break a run of four games against him. Perhaps he can start to build something now.“I always look at Sascha Zverev [who is 6’6] and I wonder why he plays like a small man,” says Greg Rusedski.
9.47pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta *5-1 Alexander Zverev. What a horrible service game from Zverev to fall down a double break. He opened with two unforced errors to immediately fall down 0-30, then at 15-30 Zverev offered up his first double fault. Zverev saved the first break point with a big serve out wide. On the second, the Spaniard stepped into the court, nailed an inside forehand and he will now serve for the set. This looks a lot like Zverev’s quarterfinal match against Coric. 9.41pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 4-1* Alexander Zverev. Exactly what the Spaniard needed. He consolidated the break in a flash, holding to 15 with help from two service winners. 9.39pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta *3-1 Alexander Zverev. Carreno Busta takes the first break! From 30-15, Carreno Busta played an excellent long rally, moving Zverev around before eventually eliciting a forehand error. Zverev then offered up a backhand unforced error to face his first break point at 30-40.On his first break point of the night, Carreno Busta threw in a nervy backhand error of his own. No matter. From deuce, Zverev helped him along. He first attempted a calamatous serve and volley, dumping his first volley into the net. Then he shanked an easy backhand long and wide after completely opening up the court. This is very nervy from both players, but that’s exactly how Carreno Busta should like it. 9.33pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 2-1* Alexander Zverev. A great hold for Carreno Busta to come through a really tough third game. The rallies are already long and gruelling, with both players slightly hesitant and making ample errors. It was Carreno Busta who generated game point first at 40-30, but after reaching his second game point at Ad-40, he made two consecutive backhand errors to suddenly face break point. The Spaniard escaped well, nailing a backhand cross court and then finding a big serve at deuce. On the third game point, Zverev shanked a forehand long. After those quick opening games, now the match really begins. 9.23pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta *1-1 Alexander Zverev. With Dominic Thiem watching on from his suite, Zverev quickly seals his first hold to 15 with few problems. After Carreno opened with a huge forehand down the line winner, some enormous serving from Zverev to stroll through his opening service game. 9.19pm BST Pablo Carreño Busta 1-0* Alexander Zverev. The Spaniard begins with an easy hold to love. That was an edgy start from Zverev, who offered up three backhand errors on a platter to begin. 9.17pm BST Pablo Carreno Busta is up to the baseline and will serve first. 9.16pm BST .@AlexZverev @pablocarreno91

Let's do this. pic.twitter.com/WPxmMLHxI5 9.16pm BST “9-11 We Remember” on cloth covering seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium.#USOpen men’s semifinals about to begin. pic.twitter.com/X3Bl4UMj5k 9.14pm BST The players have arrived on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Alexander Zverev won the coin toss and elected to receive first. 9.13pm BST As the men’s semis begin, the French players quarantined in New York since the first week are finally free to leave. Les Français en quarantaine dans leur chambre d'hôtel à Long Island peuvent enfin quitter New York pic.twitter.com/2ImvinTtlM 9.10pm BST There isn’t too much data on this match-up. Their only previous meeting came in the semi-finals of the Miami ATP Masters 1000, which Zverev won 7-6(4) 6-2. Zverev is the clear favourite and if he is serving bombs, taking on his forehand and playing confident, aggressive tennis, he will win. It may not even be close. But that Zverev was not present in the quarterfinal and there have been many instances over the past 18 months where that also hasn’t been the case. When he gets tight, Zverev’s second serve and forehand are always the first shots to go. 8.06pm BST Hello! Welcome to tonight’s coverage of the men’s US Open semi-finals. After a brilliant Thursday evening of women’s semis, in which Naomi Osaka and Victoria Azarenka survived two excellent matches to reach the final, Pablo Carreno Busta and Alexander Zverev will be hoping to do the same tonight.This has been some tournament for Carreno Busta, who certainly did not seem to be on the cusp of the best result of his career in the first round when he fell down two sets to one against No 86 Yasutaka Uchiyama. Instead, he regrouped and eventually won 8 sets in a row to reach the fourth round. Continue reading...

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