In a meeting with his friend Gastão Elias, the Lisbon player won in three sets, with 6-7 (5-7), 6-1 and 6-3, in one hour and 16 minutes.
“A meeting between two good friends is always complicated and difficult to manage, even more so when playing at our club. We try to abstract ourselves, but it’s not easy at all”, Sousa confessed.
After leading the ‘tie-break’ by 5-1 and conceding the first match, the Portuguese number two assured, however, a duel with the Frenchman Hugo Grenier, who beat his compatriot Mathias Bourge also in three sets, 5-7, 6-0 and 6-1.
“Within the court we felt a little more pressure at some points, as happened to me at the end of the first set, that if it hadn’t been against Gastão, perhaps it wouldn’t have cost me so much. But it turned out to be a good meeting and I managed to be a little more aggressive and achieve victory”, explained 32 year old Pedro Sousa.
The other national representative, Nuno Borges, eliminated during his debut, Bosnian Damir Dzumhur, in only two sets, by 7-6 (10-8) and 6-1, after one hour and 40 minutes.
“The first set was extremely tough from the start. He was ahead, I had opportunities that I didn’t take, then I ended up taking a ‘break’, there were many ups and downs. But when I came out on top of the tie break, I felt it was my chance to enter the second set and make a difference, making him lose a little confidence that he could win the match”, commented the national champion.