An incredibly surprising quarterfinal clash at the US Open sees 12th seed Pablo Carreno Busta, the highest seed left on the bottom half of the draw, take on 29th seed Diego Schwartzman, who has beaten two players ranked above him, face off for what would be a first Grand Slam final for either man.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two, and surprisingly that comes on hard courts, with clay being the better surface for both men; Carreno Busta reached the last eight at the French Open earlier this year, whilst Schwartzman’s sole ATP title came on clay in Istanbul last year. Both men, however, have impressed on their way to the last eight and will have some confidence coming in.
This match will take place on the Arthur Ashe Stadium, with the winner facing either 17th seed Sam Querrey or 28th seed Kevin Anderson for a spot in the final.
Road to the quarterfinals
Both men have impressed to get to the last eight, though it is Carreno Busta who has been the more comfortable of the two, not yet dropping a set.
The Spaniard has played well so far, though has only faced qualifiers through to this stage- something that has never happened before. The 12th seed beat Evan King in his opening match, before easing past Cameron Norrie to reach the third round. He then comfortably saw off the potentially dangerous Nicolas Mahut, before beating Denis Shapovalov in three tiebreak sets to reach his second Grand Slam quarterfinal.
Meanwhile, Schwartzman also got off to a fantastic start, comfortably beating fellow Argentine Carlos Berlocq for the loss of just six games. He then saw off the potentially dangerous Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets, before coming from a set down to upset fifth seed Marin Cilic in four sets in the third round. Making his second week debut at a Grand Slam, Schwartzman beat 16th seed Lucas Pouille in four sets to reach the last eight.
One big factor in this match could be fatigue. Though his last match was not particularly easy, Carreno Busta looked fairly fresh and has not used up too much energy to get to this stage. In contrast, Schwartzman has had a more tricky road and notably looked fatigued at some stages during his fourth round clash versus Pouille; it seems that if the Argentine wants to win this encounter, he may have to try and win it quickly.
Another potential advantage for Carreno Busta is that he is the more powerful of the two, and may be able to dictate play, though the Spaniard must be careful not to overpress and make too many unforced errors. Schwartzman is also aggressive, though is perhaps the better mover of the two and will look to frustrate the 12th seed by getting as many balls back as possible; however, the 29th seed must also look to attack at every opportunity he gets and must look to serve well.
This is certainly one of the more surprising quarterfinal matches in recent years, though with both men playing well it should be very competitive. Schwartzman will undoubtedly give it his all and could win this, though Carreno Busta is the fresher of the two and should have an advantage here.
Prediction: Pablo Carreno Busta in four sets