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Sousa rallies past Benneteau for first title

7:47 AM, Sep 29, 2013   |    comments
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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 February.

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 final.

Sousa collected a first prize of $158,000.

The Sports Network

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