WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta won his first ATP World Tour title Saturday, beating countryman Roberto Bautista Agut in 6-7 (8), 7-6 (7), 6-4 in the Winston-Salem Open.
Busta, ranked 49th in the world, overcame dropping a first-set tiebreaker to upset the 17th-ranked Agut for his first tour title in three final-round appearances, all coming this year.
“This is amazing, an amazing feeling,” Busta said. “I worked very hard to be here, and now I get to enjoy this moment.”
The 25-year-old Busta needed just over 2 1/2 hours to become the sixth first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, and the first to do so in an American tournament.
The 28-year-old Agut, seeded second, was trying to win his third title of the season and the fifth of his career. He won this year at Auckland, New Zealand, and Sofia, Bulgaria.
“It was a tough match, a tough week,” said Agut, who won three three-set matches to advance to the final. “I came here to play some matches, so it was a positive week for me to be in the final. One more final in my career.”
Agut had his chances to add a tournament title, overcoming two set points in the first-set tiebreaker. He trailed Busta 6-4, but won four consecutive points to take the tiebreaker and the set.
“When I lost the first set, it was a really tough moment,” Busta said.
However, after Agut and Busta broke each others serve in the fifth and sixth games of the second set to force another tiebreaker, Busta wound up ripping off seven straight points in the tiebreaker to take the set.
Busta got another break on Agut in the sixth game of the third set to go up 4-2. That appeared to deter Agut, who was held without a point over Busta’s final two service games.
“I had many chances to get closer to a win today,” Agut said. “But I didn’t get the chances. I didn’t play well when I was a set and break up. Finishes like this, when you have the chance, if you don’t get it, then you lose.”
The win will bump Busta’s world ranking up to No. 40 when the ATP releases the updated rankings on Monday. The timing couldn’t be better for Busta, who will play his first match at the U.S. Open on Tuesday.
“This year, I’ve played really tough matches against top players,” Busta said. “This is important to me. I don’t have time to celebrate this title, but this just gives me more confidence to play there at the U.S. Open.
“I arrive there with confidence, and I can get even more if I win the tournament.”