Joao Sousa Becomes First Portuguese Player to Win ATP Tour Final

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Joao Sousa (Player Info) capped off his incredible week in Malaysia as he defeated fifth seeded Julien Benneteau (Player Info) to win his maiden ATP title on Sunday afternoon. The World no. 77 saved several tight break points to claim the match 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 after trailing 2-6, 4-5. The match lasted a total of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

“I just gave my best, it was a tough shot there, I just went for it and it went it… Tennis is like this, if you don’t go for it, you’ll never make it, so I just went for it,” said Sousa. “We both played a great match… He had a lot of chances to win.”

Sousa became the first player from Portugal to win an ATP World Tour final.  He also became the seventh first-time winner on the ATP World Tour this season, with his win on Sunday in Kuala Lumpur.

“I’m so tired mentally and physically but I just feel amazing, it’s just a dream come true, winning my first title here in Malaysia. I’m really happy to win this title… I hope this helps [my] confidence and to try and do better things.”

The Portuguese No. 1 played an incredible week of tennis, knocking out top seed David Ferrer in the quarter-finals and fourth seed Jurgen Melzer in the semi-finals to reach his first ATP final and become the 12th unseeded tournament winner this season.

“I just learned to… go for my dreams,” he said. “I’m very happy with this week.”

Benneteau’s disappointing brings him to 0-9 in ATP World Tour Finals.

“I tried everything today… I played very well, particularly I was very aggressive and I didn’t let him play for two sets almost,” said Benneteau. “At 5-4, I had match point and I played the point perfectly… He made the passing shot down the line, with his forehand.”

“I took my chance, it didn’t pay off and it’s hard, it’s hard, it’s very hard. But it’s sport. It’s tough because I was leading the match, but this is tennis. You have to win some key points.”


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