João Sousa survives scare to secure historic win in Estoril
In an all Portuguese face-off João Sousa saved two match points to defeat compatriot and Davis Cup teammate Pedro Sousa after an epic three-set battle in a packed Estádio Millennnium.
João Sousa, who overcame eight seed Russian Daniil Medvedev in round one, emerged victorious after a gruelling 2h25 clash against his countryman, who came on court as the clear underdog, ranked at No. 143 ATP.
In what was their first ATP Tour level match and with an exciting prize on the line - to be the first Portuguese player to reach the QF’s at Millennium Estoril Open - the emotions were running high and the nearly 3000 spectators were treated to a memorable showdown of great tennis from both parties.
In the end, it was the No. 1 Portuguese player who prevailed 4-6, 7-6(1) e 7-5 but not before saving two matchpoints.
29-year-old Pedro Sousa, who received a wild card into the main draw and stunned former World No.6 Gilles Simon in round one, showed great resilience and some outstanding tennis, dictating points from the baseline and delighting the crowd with surgical forehand winners. However, João Sousa kept his cool under pressure and came up with the goods when it mattered.
In the quarterfinals João Sousa will face British No.1 Kyle Edmund, who defeated Aussie wild card Alex de Minaur in his debut match in this year’s edition of Millennium Estoril Open.