ATP | Carreño knows how to suffer to win his fifth title against Munar

The first completely Spanish ATP final since Carballés-Ramos in Quito on February 11, 2018, did not disappoint at the AnyTech365 Andalucía Open. About 500 spectators, with masks and social distance, enjoyed the display of good game and, above all, with the effort they gave Pablo Carreño and Jaume Munar on the Manolo Santana court of the Puente Romano Tennis Club. The 29-year-old from Gijón won, who knew how to suffer to impose his condition of first seed against the 23-year-old Mallorcan: 6-1, 2-6 and 6-4 in 2:20. In a penultimate epic game he yielded the last break of the match and later could not counter it against a Carreño who closed the win, his 200th in the ATP; with the only direct serve that he added in the whole match.

Thus he achieved the fifth title of his career in his eighth final and the privilege of having the trophy delivered to him in a symbolic way, by the COVID protocols, but with presence on the clay of Marbella two great legends who, in addition, were directors of the Club and great friends, Manolo Santana and Bjorn Borg. Almost nothing. Chilean tenor Rodrigo Orrego (sang You rise me up) polished up a glamorous ceremony in the stands as well. This is the Costa del Sol, which came out at times at first and then stayed. “It was a great final with two great players and great tennis,” Borg said in his short speech.

The winner of 11 Grand Slams was right, because after a somewhat cold first set that Carreño dominated at will, as he had done in the semifinals against Ramos, the encounter resulted in a fierce fight between two players of similar style in some respects, as regards, above all, consistency. Pablo had some discomfort in his left leg for which he was treated after losing the second set and the best came in the third, with long games, endless exchanges and constant alternatives. The Asturian went ahead with a break for 3-2 and Munar immediately equaled until that 5-4 in which he raised six break points. He could not with the seventh and then he knelt with honor.

Emotion in speeches

“I have lost a final, but I have taken a step further in my career. So I'm happy even though I don't know how to lose”said the one from Santanyi, who has reached three finals in Marbella in the last six months (two from Challenger and this one from ATP 250), praised his opponent. “It evolves every year and I see a better Carreño every time.” “They have not been easy weeks, it is difficult for me to start. What I have achieved thanks to the work with my coach, Walter, and my physios, Sergio and Juanjo, who accompanies me here, my coach Samuel, who is always in difficult moments with me until the end, and Albert (Molina, his agent), who has been with me for a long time and is proud to be with him. And my family, who cannot be here, and it is difficult to see them. I would like to be with them “, said the victor through tears and with a broken voice. A very emotional and hardworking boy who deserves the good that happens to him. And, as a reward, From this Monday it will be the 12th in the world, behind another Spaniard, Roberto Bautista. What happened in Marbella, with four semifinalists from the Navy, and in the ranking, in which Nadal is 3rd, are proof that Spanish tennis is in very good health.

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