Geneva - Thomaz Bellucci won the inaugural Geneva Open title, defeating Joao Sousa 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 on Saturday.
World No 60 Bellucci claimed his fourth ATP World Tour crown and first since prevailing on the clay of Gstaad in 2012.
Three of the Brazilian's four titles have come on Swiss soil (also
Gstaad 2009). The 27-year-old, who is the second South American champion
on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Pablo Cuevas (Sao Paulo),
needed one hour and 34 minutes to secure victory.
"It wasn't easy to play today," said Bellucci. "It was very windy. I was
more solid at the baseline. Mentally I was strong all week so maybe
that was the key today... The conditions in Geneva are good for me. The
ball bounces high and I like the clay courts here. It's similar to where
I practice in Sao Paulo. I'm feeling very relaxed and happy to win my
third title in Switzerland. I hope to come back next year.
"I don't have much time to celebrate because tomorrow I have to be
practising again for Roland Garros. This week gave me a lot of
confidence, so I hope to keep playing like that and I hope to be ready
for the next week."
Bellucci sprinted to an early lead behind an immediate break of serve in
the opening game, but Sousa would not go down quietly, breaking back
for 3-3 and staving off three set points after the Brazilian secured a
second break for 5-4. The first set would be settled in a tie-break,
where Sousa squandered an early mini-break advantage before falling 7-4.
The second set followed a similar script, but with the Portuguese racing
to a quick 2-0 lead after an initial break. He would maintain the lead
until the eighth game when Bellucci, sensing the finish line, broke back
and reeled off four straight games to capture the title. He fired four
aces, won 64 per cent of first serve points and converted on four of six
Bellucci, who takes home €80 000 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points,
is the fourth ATP World Tour titlist outside the Top 50 this year,
joining then No 63 Jiri Vesely (Auckland), No 73 Victor Estrella Burgos
(Quito) and No 92 Viktor Troicki (Sydney).
Sousa, meanwhile, was attempting to become the first player to win an
ATP World Tour title this year having rallied from a match point down
during a tournament. He saved four match points in defeating Pablo
Andujar in the quarterfinals. The 26-year-old was contesting his
fourth tour-level final, seeking his second title (Kuala Lumpur 2013).
"I’m not happy today but I think that it’s still a good week for me,"
Sousa said. "I’m leaving for Paris with good rhythm and confidence.
That’s very important before the start of Roland Garros. I won four
matches here and I’m feeling well. It’s great that I reached the final
here. I had a great week here and enjoyed this tournament a lot."