Stefanos Tsitsipas recorded a Tour-leading 37th victory of the season on Sunday as he cruised past Pablo Carreno Busta 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 to advance to the Roland Garros quarter-finals.
“My performance was good. I was very mentally there in every single game,” Tsitsipas said. “Whether I was serving or not, I was very concentrated in the procedure, in the process.”
The FedEx ATP Race to Turin leader hit 41 winners and only made 17 unforced errors in an impressive display to improve to 3-0 in his ATP Head2Head against Carreno Busta.
Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in Paris last year, prevailed in two hours and six minutes and has dropped just one set through four matches.
“I think every single match that I had against him was a learning experience. I had high expectations for him, and that’s a good thing, going into the match having high expectations [for] your opponent,” Tsitsipas said.
“I think I also had a great start, very good start, where I didn’t let him attack a lot. I actually gave him not that much space to get going.”
It was the Greeks’ 20th clay-court victory of 2021, with a maiden ATP Masters 1000 title at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters (d. Rublev) a high point. He will face second seed Daniil Medvedev for a spot in the semi-finals. The Russian leads their ATP Head2Head series 6-1.
The fifth seed made a roaring start on Court Philippe-Chatrier. The 2019 Nitto ATP Finals champion showcased a mixture of power and precision on his backhand and found consistent depth on his forehand return to move 4-1 ahead.
While Carreno Busta worked his way into the contest, stepping into the court to fire away winners on Tsitispas’ second serve, the Greek held firm to fend off two break points at 4-2. He then sealed the set with one of the six aces he hit.
Tsitsipas continued to open his shoulders and strike the ball aggressively at the start of the second, breaking in the first game with an impressive crosscourt forehand winner. The 22-year-old reeled off the next three games to lead 4-0 as he controlled proceedings.
The Spaniard’s level had dropped from the first set, as he won just 30 percent of points on Tsitsipas’ second serve, a decline from 55 per cent in the opener.
Momentum changed at the start of the third though, with Carreno Busta breaking for the first time to lead 3-0 as he began to dictate proceedings on his forehand. However, he could not sustain his level with Tsitsipas closing to 3-4 when the Spaniard fired wide on the backhand.
The Greek, who won 75 per cent of points on his first serve (47/63), then claimed four of the final five games to advance.
Carreno Busta is a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, and he only dropped one set on his way to the fourth round this year. However, the 29-year-old’s seventh defeat of the season (17-7) means the Spaniard’s focus will move to the grass.