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Carreno Busta reaches first Grand Slam semi at U.S. Open

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain reacts after beating Diego Schwartzman of Argentina during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament today in New York.

NEW YORK >> Pablo Carreno Busta reached his first Grand Slam semifinal by beating No. 29 Diego Schwartzman of Argentina 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 at the U.S. Open today.

The 12th-seeded Spaniard easily handled his first match of the tournament against an opponent who was not a qualifier.

Now Carreno Busta will face No. 17 Sam Querrey of the U.S. or No. 28 Kevin Anderson of South Africa, who were scheduled to play tonight. None of those three men remaining on the bottom half of the draw has ever played in a major final.

Carreno Busta traveled a tame path to the quarterfinals, becoming the first man to face four qualifiers in a Grand Slam tournament during the Open era, which began in 1968. He didn’t drop a set against any of those opponents and stayed perfect against Schwartzman while appearing in his second Grand Slam quarterfinal.

Carreno Busta also reached the quarters in the French Open in June, but had to retire in his match against eventual champion Rafael Nadal because of an abdominal injury that forced him to miss Wimbledon.

The 5-foot-7 Schwartzman was the shortest quarterfinalist at a Grand Slam tournament since Jaime Yzaga, also 5-7, at the 1994 U.S. Open. He was bidding to become the shortest in a major semifinal since 5-6 Harold Solomon at the 1980 French Open.

Querrey was trying to give the U.S. its first men’s semifinalist at its home major since Andy Roddick in 2006. The last American man to win any Grand Slam singles title was Roddick in 2003 at Flushing Meadows.

The Americans also had a chance to put two women into the semifinals with victories later today.

Ninth-seeded Venus Williams was to face No. 13 Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in a quarterfinal matchup of former Grand Slam champions. Williams was trying to reach the U.S. Open semifinals for the first time since 2010.

First, Sloane Stephens played No. 16 Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. Ranked 83rd, Stephens was bidding to become the seventh player outside the top 50 to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Open since the computer rankings began in 1975.

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