Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (Sports Network) - Joao Sousa of Portugal earned his
first career ATP title with a three-set victory over France's Julien Benneteau
in Sunday's final at the Malaysian Open.
Sousa, ranked 77th in the world, rallied for a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 triumph to become
the first Portuguese player to win an ATP tournament. The previous best result
by a Portuguese man was Frederico Gil, who had a runner-up finish in Portugal
in May 2010.
The 24-year-old Sousa's best previous finish was just last week, a semifinal
loss to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in St. Petersburg, Russia. He became the 12th
unseeded winner this season and the seventh first-time winner in 2013.
Benneteau, meanwhile, remained winless. It was his ninth career final and
second this year. He also lost to Juan Martin del Potro in Rotterdam back in
Seeded fifth this week, Benneteau also finished as the runner-up for the
second straight year in this event. He lost to Juan Monaco in last year's
Sousa collected a first prize of $158,000.
The Sports Network