No one would have picked out Pablo Carrena Busta aged 31, a former top tenner ranked 23 who was unseeded for the week, as the eventual champion but the Spaniard’s resilience is one of his strengths as he showed by defeating the eighth seed, Hubert Hurkacz to claim the Canadian Open in Montreal.
It’s an amazing feeling to be a Masters 1000 winner. It’s the best title of my career for sure and I don’t know how I’m feeling in this moment Pablo Carreno Busta
It is his first title of the season and he joins his compatriots Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz as a Masters winner this year following his excellent recovery from a set down to defeat the Pole 3-6 6-3 6-3 after 105-minutes of dogged play to become the first unseeded player to lift the trophy since Argentina’s Guillermo Canas in 2002!
“It’s an amazing feeling to be a Masters 1000 winner,” Carreno Busta said. “It’s the best title of my career for sure and I don’t know how I’m feeling in this moment.
“I know that during all the week we worked very hard, also the weeks before. It’s very important to be very positive all the time. It’s not my best season this year. I lost some matches that probably other seasons I didn’t lose, but I just tried to continue believing in my team, in myself and in my game.”
Carreno Busta, a two-time US Open semi-finalist, had never appeared in a Masters final before and it didn’t augur well for him as Hurkacz had not lost any of the five finals he had previously reached.
“I lost the first set, just one break, but you know when you play against these kinds of players who have a really good serve it’s really tough to be there,” Carreno Busta commented. “But I just continued believing because I know that I was playing better and better. I tried to be aggressive with my serves and I could make two breaks — enough to be a winner!”
Hurkacz looked set collect his sixth win in a final when he took the first set but an early break of his serve in the second provided Carreno Busta with the swing in fortune he was fighting for. And he was quick to make the most of it as he levelled the match and then taking the decider on his third break point.
“Pablo was playing really, really well throughout the whole match. It just was tough to play against him,” Hurkacz admitted. “Maybe I wasn’t serving as good as I can. But definitely Pablo deserved to win today.”
In his journey to the title, the seventh of his career, Carreno Busta beat the 11th seed Matteo Berrettini, the Dane Holger Rune, the seventh seed Jannik Sinner, Britain’s Jack Draper and to make the final, Britain’s Dan Evans.
He is also set to move up nine places in the word ranking listings published on Monday to return into the top 20 at 14.
Meanwhile in the doubles final which featured two Brits on opposite sides of the net, saw the third seeds Neal Skupsi partner Dutchman Wesley Koolhof to a 6-2 4-6 10-4 victory over the unseeded duo of Dan Evans and his Australian partner John Peel.