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Carreno Busta downs Shapovalov to set up Bublik final in Chengdu

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(Reuters) – Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta produced a clinical display to beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 6-3 6-4 at the Chengdu Open on Saturday, setting up a final against Kazakh Alexander Bublik.

Eighth seed Shapovalov fired down 12 aces and won 21 of his 29 first-serve points but Carreno Busta made the most of his limited opportunities, converting a break point in each set to claim victory in just over an hour.

Sunday’s final will be Carreno Busta’s first since 2017 as he snapped a six-match losing streak in ATP tour semi-finals.

“I lost (semi-finals) in Antalya and Hamburg this year. Finally, I can win a semi-final to be in a final,” the 28-year-old said.

“In the first game of the match, I saved two break points and maybe it was the key… He served really good during a lot of the match, but in the two games where I had break points, I broke serve.”

Bublik, who beat Grigor Dimitrov on Friday after saving two match points, overpowered South Africa’s Lloyd Harris in a 7-6(6) 6-4 in the other semi-final.

The 22-year-old landed 21 aces in a dominant display to reach his second tour-level final of the season.

Bublik and Carreno Busta have played just once before on the Tour, a 2016 clash in Moscow where the Spaniard prevailed in three sets.

“Alex is a tough player,” said Carreno Busta. “He serves really well with his first and second serves… I need to be very focused, try to win my service games and then wait for the moment and take advantage of my opportunities.”

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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