Karen Khachanov Extends Head-to-Head Lead Over Pablo Carreno Busta with Round 4 Win

Karen Khachanov 2022 US Open

A US Open fourth-round matchup between Pablo Carreno Busta and Karen Khachanov turned into a five-set thriller, with the Russian moving on to the quarterfinals.

Khachanov Extends H2H Lead Over Pablo Carreno Busta

Pablo Carreno Busta started the match in the good form he’d shown all season, and seized an immediate break over a player in Karen Khachanov that has troubled him in the past. Khachanov held a 5-3 lead over Carreno Busta in their H2H, with a 4-1 lead on hard courts. A hard-hitting and fast-paced set ensued, without any other changes of direction, and Carreno Busta took the set in the tenth game with a hold to love.

Khachanov had a few looks at break point early in the second set and was unable to convert. However, strong general play and a patient approach paid off, and he was able to make his move in the sixth game to secure a break. Then, after recovering from an incredible shot from Carreno Busta that could have shifted the momentum of the set, Khachanov closed it out to even the match at one.

Khachanov came out strong in the third set, and although Carreno Busta was able to stave off two break points in the first game, the Russian ultimately came away with a quick break. That portended a very poor set from the Spaniard, who was ultimately broken three times, and completely lost his resolve by the end of the set. He actually walked off to his bench on the final point before Khachanov had even put the ball away, drawing jeers from the crowd and leaving everyone to wonder whether something was physically wrong or something was in his head.

It appeared to be a physical issue, possibly illness-related, and the medical team was called out. Carreno Busta was given a couple pills, and they must have been good, because he was a different player in the fourth set. He dug in his heels against the negative momentum and looked strong on a hold to love in the fourth game, which began to make the match feel less lopsided. That hold turned immediately into a break to love that swung the momentum back in his favor, and Carreno Busta was able to stave off two break points in the next game to consolidate his own break. Khachanov hung on tightly and fought off two set points, but ultimately the set and the momentum went to Carreno Busta, with the match tied at two.

Fifth Set

The fifth set proceeded for a while on serve, but in the middle of the fifth, Khachanov began to apply pressure on the Carreno Busta serve, and he was eventually rewarded with a break to take a 4-2 lead. The Spaniard fought off a strong push by Khachanov at 2-5 to eke out a hold, but the Russian stayed solid on serve and put the match away in the next game.

Khachanov now awaits the winner of Daniil Medvedev vs Nick Kyrgios, which ran into a 13-11 first set tiebreak won by Kyrgios while the Khachanov-Carreno Busta match was wrapping up. At the time of publishing, they’re tied at one set apiece.

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