Joao Sousa claimed his first ATP title at the Malaysian Open by beating veteran Frenchman Julien Benneteau 2-6, 7-5, 6-4. The 24-year-old is the first ever Portugal native to win an ATP Tour title.
Sousa, ranked 77, had already upset seeds David Ferrer and Jurgen Melzer en route to the final.
Benneteau, the favorite, dominated the opening set by breaking twice and looked the likely winner when he had match point on the Sousa serve at 4-5 in the second set.
Unnerved, the Portuguese held serve and broke Benneteau in the following game to set up an opportunity to take the match to a deciding set. He served it out. Momentum carried into the decider, with Sousa breaking Benneteau again in the opening stanza.
The remainder of the match went with serve although Sousa was forced to save four break points before closing out the match 6-4 to take the title.
Cover Photo: Si Robi (Creative Commons License)