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Ricky’s Tennis Preview And Pick For The ATP Year End Champs • Dimitrov vs. Carreno Busta

Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain in action against Dominic Thiem of Austria during the ATP Finals in London, Britain, 15 November 2017. EPA-EFE/NEIL HALL



Ricky’s preview and pick for Friday at the World Tour Finals: Dimitrov vs. Carreno Busta


By Ricky Dimon


Grigor Dimitrov and Pablo Carreno Busta will be facing each other for the fifth time in their careers at the ATP level when they play the final round-robin match of the 2017 Nitto ATP World Tour Finals on Friday night. Prize money and ranking points are stake, but their respective tournament fates have already been decided. Carreno Busta, an alternate, is understandably out. Dimitrov, undefeated at 2-0, is through to the semifinals.


Making his debut at the World Tour Finals, Dimitrov kicked things off with a 6-3, 5-7, 7-5 victory over Dominic Thiem before hammering David Goffin 6-0, 6-2 on Wednesday afternoon. The world No. 6 is 46-19 this year with three titles–one of the Masters 1000 variety in Cincinnati.


“It could be,” Dimitrov said of his performance against Goffin when asked if it was his best since the Australian Open. “I’ve played I think a little bit over 50 matches. I think I need to sit down and think about it, but right now, from the top of my head, this is definitely the one that sticks out in terms of consistency, focus, striking the ball, movement, agility; everything that I can possibly think.


“I’ve worked a lot on and off the court. I felt I’ve been pretty consistent; playing well. Yeah, I think just a little bit of everything (is the reason for my good year). That’s why you’re here on [this] stage right now, because this is what you deserve. You get what you put in.”


Carreno Busta is also playing on this stage for the first time, and he needed some (a withdrawal from Rafael Nadal) help in order to do so. The Spaniard was in position to qualify for the World Tour Finals outright following a run to the U.S. Open semis, but he went 1-5 during five previous fall tournaments. Thus he was overtaken for the eighth and final London spot when Jack Sock captured the Paris title. Carreno Busta is now 1-7 in his last eight matches after losing to Thiem 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 on Wednesday.


“I [dreamt] a lot of times to be here and play,” the world No. 10 assured. “I think it’s a big opportunity for me. I (will) just try to do my best. I think I have no pressure; nothing to lose. I (will) just try to enjoy; to learn.”


Carreno Busta’s showing against Thiem was a commendable one–certainly better than what he had previously produced during the fall swing. But his semifinal hopes have come and gone, and Dimitrov is currently looking like the second best player at the O2 Arena behind Roger Federer.


Pick: Dimitrov in 2


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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