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Top-ranked Busta out of Napoli Cup, Berrettini progresses

Gijon Open - Day Five

GIJON, SPAIN - OCTOBER 14: Arthur Rinderknech of France celebrates after winning a point in his quarterfinal match against Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain during day five of the Gijon Open ATP 250 at Palacio de Deportes La Guia on October 14, 2022 in Gijon, Spain. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

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NAPLES, Italy - Top-seeded Pablo Carreno Busta was eliminated from the Napoli Cup by Miomir Kecmanović, while home favorite and second-seeded Matteo Berrettini progressed to the semifinals.

Busta had to pull double duty on Friday at the beleaguered tournament, where the start of the singles main draw was delayed until Wednesday because of multiple issues with the playing surface.

Players also threatened to boycott the event, while Corentin Moutet retired from his second-round match against Kecmanović on Thursday after complaining about the slippery conditions on the outdoor courts next to the bay.

Busta comfortably beat Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-1 on Friday morning but couldn’t back that up as he went on to lose to the fifth-seeded Kecmanović 7-5, 6-2.

The Serbian player will face Lorenzo Musetti of Italy in the semifinals after he emphatically beat Daniel Elahi Galan 6-3, 6-0.

The other semifinal pits Berrettini against Mackenzie McDonald of the United States.

Berrettini cruised to a dominant 6-2, 6-3 victory over Taro Daniel, much to the delight of the passionate home crowd, which also included his parents.

“It’s super important and I’m super proud that they’re here,” Berrettini said.

“Obviously without them I wouldn’t be here. . . . When I started playing tennis, they were the ones that brought me everywhere, so I’m so happy that they’re here, that they can enjoy this atmosphere, and hopefully they’re proud of me.”

McDonald rallied to beat Chinese qualifier Zhang Zhizhen 4-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Naples was awarded a single-year license to host the ATP 250-level tournament.