By Richard Pagliaro | Saturday, March 18, 2017
Stan Wawrinka reeled off nine of the last 11 games crushing Pablo Carreno Busta, 6-3, 6-2, to reach his first Indian Wells final.
Photo credit: Billie Weiss/BNP Paribas Open
Midway through the second set another heavy forehand from Stan Wawrinka rattled an error out of Pablo Carreno Busta’s racquet prompting the Spaniard to erupt in a primal scream.
Wawrinka’s forehand was a conversation killer leaving the world No. 23 little say in rallies.
Watch: BNP Paribas Open Live Blog
The reigning US Open champion reeled off nine of the last 11 games outclassing Carreno Busta, 6-3, 6-2, to roll into his first career BNP Paribas Open final.
“I was expecting a tough one playing early one after playing the night session the previous match (presented) different conditions,” Wawrinka told ESPN’s Brad Gilbert afterward. “I’m really happy to get through to the final for the first time.”
The three-time Grand Slam champion won 20 of 25 first-serve points and did not face a break point raising his 2017 record to 12-3.
It is Wawrinka’s first Masters final since he defeated good friend and sometime doubles partner Roger Federer in the 2014 Monte Carlo final.
The third-seeded Swiss will face either Federer or 17th-seeded Jack Sock in tomorrow’s final.
Both semifinalists came out crunching deep drives. Wawrinka powered through a two-ace game in the opener.
Seeking his first career Top 10 win, Carreno Busta, who carried an ignominious 0-14 career record vs. Top 10 foes, denied a break point in the sixth game holding for 3-all.
Whipping a backhand pass crosscourt and coaxing a netted backhand, Wawrinka earned two more break points in the eighth game.
Unloading on a crackling crosscourt forehand that skimmed the tape, Wawrinka pounded out the first break for 5-3. That break liberated the sturdy Swiss, who began to hit his forehand with even more authority.
Playing serve-and-volley on a second serve, Wawrinka hopped high to knock off a forehand volley closing a clean 29-minute opening set.
The 23rd-ranked Spaniard saved four points at 1-all in the second set. Then Wawrinka cranked up the pace considerably, cracking a forehand down the line for a fifth break point.
Hammering a heavy forehand crosscourt, the US Open champion broke for 2-1.
Controlling rallies with his forehand, the bearded Swiss broke down Carreno Busta’s backhand. Wawrinka slid an ace out wide for 4-2. By then, he’d won 18 of his last 22 service points.
The wiry Spaniard scattered a backhand wide to face double break point. Wawrinka blistered a big return that danced near his opponent’s feet breaking for 5-2.
Wawrinka served out a 64-minute conquest at love when Carreno Busta flattened a forehand return into net.
The victory vaults Wawrinka into his first Masters final on North American soil.