João Sousa becomes first Portuguese to win on the ATP tour

By Brendan de Beer, in Sport · 29-09-2013 12:11:00 · 0 Comments
João Sousa becomes first Portuguese to win on the ATP tour

Portuguese tennis player João Sousa has become the first player from this country to win an ATP Tour title after beating French fifth-seed Julien Benneteau to win the Malaysian Open in Kuala Lumpur.

Sousa, 24, is also Portugal highest ranked player at the moment (77) which is set to improve dramatically when the rankings are updated on Monday and he should find himself on the verge of climbing into the top 50 and being the highest ever ranked Portuguese player, beating Rui Machado’s 59th position in 2011.

The Portuguese player claimed his maiden ATP title in a gruelling final against Bennetau which did not start in the best fashion for the underdog, going down 6-2 in a one-sided opening set.

But Sousa found some of the form which saw him claim the scalp of world number four David Ferrer earlier in the week, when he came back to win the next two sets 7-5 and 6-4 after a battle which lasted 2 hours and 18 minutes.

The previous best performance by a Portuguese player on the ATP circuit was when Frederico Gil reached the final of the Estoril Open in 2010.

With this win, João Sousa will collect a cheque of 158,000 US dollars


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