Pablo Carreno Busta booked a spot in the semifinals of the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday after defeating World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 7-6(5). The Spaniard was considered a massive underdog, but took advantage of the Russian's sloppy performance to seal a straight-sets win.
Speaking to Marca after the match, the Spaniard said he ranked the win as one of the biggest of his career.
"It was one of the best victories of my career," Carreno Busta said. "Medvedev is a top player who puts high intensity into the matches, but I played very well, missed very little, attacked when I had the opportunity and that obviously did a lot of damage."
After dominating the first set, Carreno Busta's level dipped early in the second and Medvedev capitalized by breaking the Spaniard's serve. However, he was unable to maintain his advantage and handed the break back in the eighth game. Carreno Busta then held firm and won the set in the tiebreak.
The Spaniard said he was happy he managed to raise level when he needed to in order to seal a straight-sets win.
"The beginning of the second set he went up a little bit," Carreno Busta said. "I had dominated the first set, but then he pressed because he knew he had to do it. If he didn't he was going to lose and it cost me a bit. Then I found myself again, played a good game to regain the break and we reached the tie break and, in the end, I took it."
"I want to finish it off with a final" - Pablo Carreno Busta on his medal prospects at the Olympics
After the match, Daniil Medvedev heaped praise on Pablo Carreno Busta for his performance, but in the same breath said he was surprised that the 30-year-old did not showcase such a high level of tennis in other tournaments over the course of the season.
The Spaniard responded by saying he works hard every day to ensure he can maintain a high level for most of the year. Carreno Busta also declared that he would not be happy with just a semifinal finish and that he was targeting a spot in the final.
"I wish I could do it," Carreno Busta said. "For that we work every day. To try to reach this level. Today it went very well and it was quite an important tournament. That's why I want to continue, because after this match I want to finish it off with a final."
"I came (to Tokyo) to get a medal. There are four of us left and there are only three medals, so I need one more step. You don't have to relax and continue with the same intensity," he added.
Pablo Carreno Busta will take on another Russian in the shape of Karen Khachanov on Friday for a place in the final of the Tokyo Olympics.