MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09:  Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain plays a backhand in the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong on January 9, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Carreno Busta bites back to beat Kooyong champ Goffin

Posted on January 9, 2018

Pablo Carreno Busta kept his composure against two-time defending Kooyong champion David Goffin after a supreme opening set from the Belgian appeared to have the Spaniard on the ropes.

In very windy conditions Goffin started strongly dominating the first set before the world No. 10 started to find his own form in the second and eventually closed out the match 1-6 7-6(4) 6-3 with some quality court movement.

“I think at the beginning of the match David played unbelievable, really good tennis,” Carreno Busta said after the match.

“So, I tried to continue playing my game with more urgency to finish the points at the net and I think the second set was better for me and in the third set I was playing much better.

“I just tried to focus on myself, it’s very important for me to play at 100 per cent in matches, and of course it’s an exhibition but it’s important to get rhythm and confidence for next week.

“To win is good for confidence, like against a top 10 player it’s very important.”

Carreno Busta is looking to build on a breakout year that saw him make the quarterfinals of the French Open and then the semi-finals at the US Open before featuring at the ATP Finals in London.

The opportunity to play matches against top-10 duo Dominic Thiem and then Grigor Dimitrov as an alternate for the tournament was gratefully accepted when compatriot Rafael Nadal withdrew due to injury.

“It was an amazing feeling, I was very excited to play there,” he said of the Finals.

“After Rafael Nadal was injured I had the opportunity to play two matches against Dominic which was an amazing match, I played really good and Grigor and that’s what I need to play matches against these top players.”

Goffin was not fazed by the defeat after such a good start to the match and looked to the positives of playing a solid three sets against a top-10 opponent in Melbourne conditions so close to the Australian Open.

“It was really windy, not easy but perfect preparation for the Aussie Open, so yeah it was a good match,” said the world No. 7 after the match.

“He’s a great player, we have practiced a lot of times together, so it was a good match-up.

“I just arrived from Perth yesterday, so I’ve had just one or two hits here and it was good, I won some matches in Perth so I’m looking forward to starting the tournament.”

An appearance in the quarterfinals at Melbourne Park last year was followed by a huge run at the ATP Finals by Goffin who defeated Nadal and Roger Federer on his way to the final in London.

“A few more days to prepare and I hope to be ready,” he said.

“There are a lot of things to manage – the fatigue, pressure, the heat, so we will see.

“I’ll be focused on what I have to do in the first round.”

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