P. Carreño Busta b.  L. Sonego 6-2 5-7 6-2
A good Lorenzo met again in Barcelona Sonego, more continuous especially in terms of the positive attitude that has often distinguished him. The Turin player is back to giving good signals after a difficult first part of 2022, but – like Lorenzo Musetti – in the end he succumbed in the round of 16 of the ATP 500 against Pablo Carreño Busta. The Spaniard easily won the first set, then Lorenzo gave battle managing to snatch the second set in the final stages and then concede the third set more easily than expected. Carreño Busta, however, he had to raise the bar to close the game, saving breakpoints in the last game as well. Pablo will always see it today against Casper Ruud in a very tough quarter-final. Lorenzo, on the other hand, will see him again in Spain in ten days, at the start of the Masters 1000 in Madrid.
THE MATCH – Today’s was the third direct confrontation between Sonego and Carreño Busta after Sonny’s victory in Antalya 2019 in the semifinals when he won 6-3 7-6 (2) and, again in the same season, the victory of the Spaniard in the second round of Winston-Salem for 7-6 (7) 6-0 .
A nightmare start for Sonego, who slips quickly under 4-0 after 17 minutes of the game. Although in reality the first game of the meeting lasted the beauty of 10 minutes with 13 points played. Lorenzo despite going forward 40-30 concedes the joke which in fact directs the entire first fraction. From the first exchanges, it was understood that today would be very hard for the Turin player. The tds 8 proves to be in great shape, on-fire. Dominates the blue tennis player in every respect, he never allows Sonny to take the initiative; serves great and pushes everyone. After the serve, Pablo always builds the point attacking with the obverse on the reverse of the opponent and then, at the right moment, find the final blow. As if that were not enough, even in retort n. 19 ATP is surgical and flaming, especially with the long line answer. The N. 3 of Italy finally manages to get his head out of the water at 4-0, recovering from 0-30 and relying on the first serve. To the advantages it manages to avoid at least the bagel. Liberating cry for n. 28 in the ranking, but the 30-year-old from Gijon continues to be irrepressible and now the score gap is too wide. The feeling in this first set is that when Carreño enters the exchange – unless he makes a mistake – he has a solidity (2 free in the whole set) such that you can never miss the point. This tactical situation creates an inevitable discomfort in the Italian, which causes as a consequence of unforced rather trivial in those very rare chances, which our bishop has, of being able to try to make a game. Shortly thereafter, the former n. 10 closes 6-2 after 40 minutes of the gamealso giving himself the gem of the slice from the right side on the set point. First fraction never questioned and without history, with n. 4 of Spain unassailable in service (0 break points and only 5 points allowed) and who made good and bad weather, also varying his score with excellent descents to the net. In batting the difference was made by the effectiveness because at the level of services on the field, the Piedmontese did not disfigure at all. Unfortunately, however, as regards the transformation, the two protagonists had very different numbers: 77% against 61% with the former; but above all 86% against 30% on the second.
The first partial showed the obvious difference in quality on the left diagonal. There are at least two, if not three categories of difference in favor of Carreño Busta on the bimane shot. To try to change course and inertia to the challenge, Sonego needs the Spaniard to drop; because the tennis that the Asturian is expressing is not sustainable by the tds n. 11 of the seeding. The second set opens with Lorenzo more prolific serving thanks also to an increase in the percentages of firsts in the field. The problem in response, on the contrary, continues to manifest itself with Pablo who in the first fraction had won all his games with the fundamental starting game at “15” and who in the second shows no signs of decreasing his strength in serving, also making good use of the kick to open the field. In the fifth game comes the first jolt of the set, strength no. 8 of the scoreboard continues incessantly to delight the public with authentic delicacies and the break point (the Spaniard had none since the third game of the first set) materializes after yet another two consecutive long-line responses from Carreño. But here the wrestler Sonny comes out, when he has to fight he never backs down, and cancels the opportunity with an anomalous forehand that falls on the line (moreover serving the second). In the end Lorenzo is saved, winning the game after winning for the first time on the left diagonal. Another element that is decreeing the difference in height between the two players is the greater reactivity of the 30-year-old Asturian who is proving to be the best in the field, given that when the exchanges get longer he always manages to make his opponent lose meters. At this point the 26-year-old from Turin, having gained greater awareness and confidence in the serve, produces the maximum effort thanks to better mobility, in the middle of the set, in seeking the break. At 4-3 for him, for the first time he gets to the advantages on the Iberian serve. Here, however, he stumbles on a bloody wrong tactical choice, looking for the counterattack instead of the straight cross, the ball is wide. We continue and we reach the tenth game, very good Sonego at 30-15 to affect with his forehand in the front using a bad rebound that had forced Carreño to shorten. At 30-30, with great coolness, Pablo places a vitally important “T” ace. But now the Spaniard is more passive and seems to feel the tension slightly. And so Lorenzo can push, he still does it very well with the wing. On parity, the chance to break the ball fades, with an unforgivable long forehand. In the twelfth game, the former n. 10 has to be used to stay in the set for the second time and proves lackluster. After a super winning backhand response from the Italian, comes a free kick from the Spaniard. Here are the first break points of the match for the tennis player from Italy, which correspond to set points. He has three Sonny, on the first two he goes long with the forehand, on the third instead the Asturian is kissed by the banded goddess with a badly hit backhand that remains in the field. But a fourth arrives and it’s the good one, Carreño’s backhand that doesn’t pinch the line. 7-5 after an hour and 12. We go to the third.
In the final phase of the second set, a decisive loss in the thrust of the n. 19 ATP, which allowed the blue to be able to control the game and be the one who has the possibility to determine. Now it’s a fight without half measures and we know how Sonego wallows in these hot and seething matches. It starts again after a short break – as happened with reversed parts after the first part – with Carreno going to rearrange his ideas in the locker room. Now the inertia is all for the n. 28 of the world, which has acquired determination and energy from the set won. On the other hand, Pablo is only a distant relative of the one admired in the opening partial, he is very wrong and systematically leaves the initiative to Sonny. But the challenge soon takes an unfavorable turn for ours. The first break chances arrive at 1-1, on the serve of the Italian bishop, after a lucky ribbon the Spaniard tears and stretches. Two decisive errors of Sonego’s forehand, with the n. 4 of Spain who finally attacks and with the smash seals the draw. As if by magic, the break revitalizes and galvanizes the tennis player of the Red Furies, who finds depth with the fundamentals from the bottom. Sonego, subsequently, definitively raises the white flag; two masterful passers-by from the Iberian and a heavy 4-1 that puts the match on ice. In the change of field, Lorenzo’s bitter smile, which makes us understand all the disappointment of him for not being able to shoot the match in the embryonic stages of the final stage when the inertia was in his favor. However, the spirit of n. 11 of the scoreboard, which shatters the first match ball at 5-1. Then he also manages to get two balls to recover one of the two breaks, with Carreño getting a little ensnared by the tension. Unfortunately, however, the serve comes to help in times of need for the former Top Ten, who thus qualifies for the quarterfinals with the 6-2 final, which lasted 51 minutes..