No singles final for Dan Evans as he failed, despite some valiant play, to get past the resilient Pablo Carreno Busta at the semi-final stage of the Canadian Open, but he is still in the fray in the doubles where with with Aussie partner John Peers, he has made the progression to the title round.
It's important to win these kind of matches, I'm so happy to be in the final,. Suddenly this week, my level has been unbelievable." Roberto Bautista Agut
Evans kept the Spaniard on court for some three hours before capitulating 7-5 6-7(7) 6-2 in what proved a marathon contest between the two unseeded players.
Carreno Busta had a match point in the second set tiebreaker but couldn’t cross the line for another 50 minutes, finally galloping off with the spoils by winning the last dozen points of the match when a tiring Evans delivered his sixth double fault of the contest.
For the Spaniard it will be his first final appearance at a Masters 1000 level tournament where he’ll be vying to become the first unseeded Canadian champion since Argentina’s Guillermo Canas twenty years ago.
The last player ranked outside the top eight to lift the Canadian crown was the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2014, when the men played in Toronto.
Carreno Busta struck 45 winners, but said he wasn’t playing his best tennis though pleased to get through.
“It’s important to win these kind of matches, I’m so happy to be in the final,” he said.
“Suddenly this week, my level has been unbelievable.”
He will play the Pole Hubert Hurkacz , seeded eight, who also had to go through a marathon but only for two hours to defeat fourth seeded Norwegian Casper Ruud 5-7 5-3 6-3 recovering from a slow start to upset the seedings.
Against Ruud, who hadn’t dropped a set all week, Hurkacz finished with 47 winners which included 18 aces against 19 unforced errors, progressing through on his second match point.
“I was just trying to stay in the match, he was better for the first set and a half,” Hurkacz said. “I just had to hold on and fight.”
In fact Hurkacz has gone to three sets in all of his matches this week, but said he wasn’t feeling fatigued.
“I feel good, I have energy,” he said. “So far so good.”
His win also avenged his loss to Ruud in the fourth round at Roland Garros two months ago.
“I was just staying aggressive, searching for opportunities, just trying to take every single chance to get ahead in the rally and make him uncomfortable,” Hurkacz commented.
But his run in the doubles with fellow Pole Jan Zielinski came to an end as Evans and Peers took them out 7-5 4-6 10-4 to reach the doubles title round where they will face Britain’s Neal Skupski and Dutchman Wesley Koolhof who beat the German pair of Andreas Mies and Kevin Krawietz 3-6 6-2 10-5.