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10sBalls Update • De Minaur Wins In Zhuhai, Carreno Busta Captures Chengdu Tennis Title

By Ricky Dimon

Alex de Minaur captured his third career ATP title and third of this year when he beat Adrian Mannarino 7-6(4), 6-4 in the final of the Zhuhai Championships on Sunday. De Minaur converted just one of 13 break points, but one was enough to take the second set and he won the first in a tiebreaker before eventually prevailing in two hours and five minutes.

The 20-year-old Australian had previously lifted trophies this season in Sydney and Atlanta.

“It was a really tough match,” commented de Minaur. “I had a lot of chances and I felt like Adrian just played better than I did in those moments. I just told myself I had to try and take control of the point and just try to dictate as much as I could and I hit a great ball and I’m happy it ended there.

“He’s one of the toughest guys to play–very tricky–and in that first set I had so many chances and I wasn’t able to break him, so I just had to make sure I stayed calm and just kept on backing myself, stay positive, and I was able to play some great points to turn the tiebreak around. That first set was huge.”

“He played great,” Mannarino said of the Demon. “I don’t think that my level dropped during the match. I think that he just kept pushing all the time, being really offensive and, if you just lose your concentration for…I don’t know, 30 seconds, one minute…then you lose a crucial game and then it goes quick. He played better than me; that’s the only thing I can remember about this match.”

Pablo Carreno Busta already had three ATP titles to his credit heading into Sunday’s Chengdu Open final; none, however, since 2017. The 63rd-ranked Spaniard returned to the winner’s circle after outlasting Alexander Bublik 6-7(5), 6-4, 7-6(3)–also in two hours and five minutes, the exact same as de Minaur vs. Mannarino.

Their only previous meeting had come three years ago in Moscow, where Carreno Busta also survived in a third-set tiebreaker.

“This year was very tough for me because of the injuries at the beginning of the year,” said Carreno Busta. “I had [a lot of time] off the courts and it is really tough when you cannot play and enjoy this sport. I just tried to continue working hard because I know when you work and do as much as possible, normally you have the prize. Now I am here with the trophy [after] winning my fourth ATP Tour title and for me it is the reason to continue fighting and playing.”

“It was an incredible week here in Chengdu,” he added. “During the week I felt really comfortable on court. The surface is very fast, but I was very good with my serve during all the matches and I think it was the key to being the winner of the tournament.”

“I am happy to be in my second final,” said Bublik, who finished runner-up to John Isner on the grass of Newport this summer. “And I am happy for Pablo; he played an unbelievable match.”

De Minaur is the eight seed at this week’s Rakuten Japan Open, where world No. 1 Novak Djokovic headlines the field.

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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