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Wednesday February 21, 2024

Busta sorry as tantrum mars Nishikori epic

By AFP
January 22, 2019

MELBOURNE: Pablo Carreno Busta apologised after he stormed off court and angrily threw his kit bag after losing a five-hour, five-set epic to Japan’s Kei Nishikori at the Australian Open on Monday.

The Spanish 23rd seed said he was “so sorry,” after being booed off when his emotions boiled over following a disputed call in the dying moments of the match.He was ahead 8-5 in the first-to-10-point deciding game when he became embroiled in a long argument with umpire Thomas Sweeney of Australia after a wrong call of out.

He completely lost it after the point was awarded, correctly, to Nishikori who had played a winner despite the bad call, but Carreno Busta thought the point should have been replayed. The incandescent Spaniard lost the next four points and the fourth-round match and was jeered loudly after launching his kit and racquets towards the exit.It overshadowed marathon man Nishikori’s epic recovery from two sets down to set up a last eight clash against top-ranked Novak Djokovic.

“Obviously I’m very sad, no, because after five hours fighting, after five hours’ match, the way that I leave from the court wasn’t correct, and I’m so sorry, because that’s not me,” Carreno Busta told reporters. It was never-say-die Nishikori’s third five-setter of the tournament, the second time he came from two sets down and his second triumph via a final set 10-point tie-break, newly introduced for this year’s tournament. The 6-7 (8/10), 4-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-4, 7-6 (10/8) win took a draining 5hr 5min after an opening set that alone lasted 76 minutes. “I don’t know what to say now. Very tough match. Very great match today,” Nishikori said.