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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sousa seals first ATP win for Portugal

Sousa seals first ATP win for Portugal

September 29, 2013 16:35 IST

Unheralded Joao Sousa completed a fairytale run at the Malaysian Open on Sunday when he beat France's Julien Benneteau 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the final to become the first Portuguese to win an ATP Tour title.

The 24-year-old, ranked 77th in the world, fell flat on his back in delight after claiming victory on the indoor hard court when Benneteau missed with a backhand down the line on his second matchpoint.

Unheralded Joao Sousa completed a fairytale run at the Malaysian Open on Sunday when he beat France's Julien Benneteau 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 in the final to become the first Portuguese to win an ATP Tour title.Sousa beat top seed and World No 4 David Ferrer in the last eight and then fourth seed Juergen Melzer of Austria in the semi-finals to reach his first final at the $875,500-event in Kuala Lumpur.

Dressed in black with his cap back to front, the young Portuguese right-hander struggled with his serve in the opening set as the experienced Benneteau broke twice to wrap it up 6-2.

The duo were on serve in the second before Sousa was forced to save a matchpoint at 5-4 down before holding and then snatching the crucial break to take the set 7-5 and force a decider.

The young Portuguese broke again in Benneteau's opening service game of the third set and he held firm, saving four break points to close out the set 6-4 and claim the breakthrough win.

The loss was tough on fifth seed Benneteau who was searching for his first ATP Tour title in his ninth final.

Image: Joao Sousa of Portugal

Photograph: Adam Hunger/Reuters

Source:
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