The champ is back indeed
A year after making history at Millennium Estoril Open, the best portuguese player of all time is back with a victory in the singles draw.
After moving on to doubles second round, João Sousa has now beaten Alexei Popyrin 6-4, 2-6 and 6-2 making his way to the upcoming round of the singles main draw.
Back to Estádio Millennium, where he was welcomed with a standing ovation, the portuguese number one resisted the talented young australian, whom holds a Roland Garros junior championship (2017) in his curriculum.
The defending of the title didn't start quite as good as Sousa would like, since he lost serve early in the fourth game. But the portuguese didn't stand still and came all the way up from a 1-4 disadvantage to seal the first set with five games in a row.
The 1-4 situation, though, would happen again in the second, only this time João Sousa wasn't strong enough to solve it as he did before. The decision was, hence, pushed to a final third set, where the player from Guimarães would have a great entrance with a break right in the first game. Popyrin still had his chance to tie up the fight (2-2) with a counter-break, but Sousa didn't lose control anymore and earned a 6-2.
Sousa's next opponent will be the belgian David Goffin, ranked 25 and fourth seed, and a former top 10.