Busta apologizes for tantrum

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Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain reacts after losing the match against Kei Nishikori of Japan at the Australian Open Monday. — Reuters

MELBOURNE — Pablo Carreno Busta apologized 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 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 rackets toward 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. — AFP


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