Sousa Denies Bautista Agut In Valencia

Portuguese captures second title

Joao Sousa defeated Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 on Sunday to capture the Valencia Open title. The Portuguese secured his second ATP World Tour title (2013 Kuala Lumpur) by upending his Spanish opponent in two hours and six minutes. He earned 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and €97,700, while Bautista Agut received 150 points and €51,450.

The World No. 24 Bautista Agut, playing in front of his home crowd, was going for a second title in as many weeks after losing in the Moscow final against Marin Cilic seven days ago. He fought hard to put himself in that position, having saved six match points in a semi-final thriller against Steve Johnson.

“I was playing very well, a set and 3-2, had a ball for 4-2 in the second,” noted Bautista Agut. “Unfortunately, my intensity went down and I was very tired in the third set. I know that I finished the last two matches very late, I also came from Moscow where I reached the final last week, it’s been a long season and obviously this has affected my performance today.”

Sousa was attempting to overturn a 0-3 record in tour-level finals this season, having finished runner-up in Geneva (outdoor clay), Umag (outdoor clay) and St. Petersburg (indoor hard) earlier in the year. His seven career tour-level finals have come solely on outdoor clay and indoor hard courts.

“I didn’t get into the match as well as I wanted, Roberto was very solid,” said Sousa. “When he was a break up in the second, I decided to change my tactic a bit. I am extremely happy to end my season with this win.

“I’ve been based in Spain since I was 15 years old, so in a way I feel a bit at home here and it’s great to be able to win this title here and in front of my family who I had no idea was going to come; they drove 10 hours from Portugal to be here today,” revealed Sousa. “I’ve lost five finals before so going into this match I was prepared to give it all until the end and it paid off.”

The Portuguese only put 48 per cent of first serves in play and needed to save seven break points throughout the match (7/10), but was opportunistic on break points, breaking Bautista Agut four times on five opportunities to end a two-year title drought.