Braga (Portugal) – Matheus Pucinelli, from São Paulo, took another important step in his journey on the circuit. After recording his third victory over a top 100, beating the top 1 of the challenger from Braga, he kept the momentum and qualified for the semifinals, beating Spanish quali Pablo Llamas in straight sets this Friday, with double 6 /3 scored in 1h37 of the game.
The great campaign this week will yield the 21-year-old from São Paulo not only his best career placement in the ranking, but also an unprecedented top 200. Currently 216th in the world, Pucinelli is provisionally gaining 21 places and reaching 195th position. He could reach the 190th place if he goes to the final and even be the 174th in the world if he wins the title.
In the semifinal, the Brazilian will face the winner of the match between Dutchman Jelle Sels, 27 years old and currently 196 in the world, and Russian Alexander Shevchenko, 21 years old and currently 153 in the world, who close the round in the last match of the day in simple.
Pucinelli didn’t have the best possible start and got a scare in the first games. He lost the serve in the fourth and reached 1/3 on the scoreboard, but then came a great run from the Brazilian, who scored three consecutive breaks and won the next five games to close the first set.
The start of the second set was again a scare, but this time smaller, with the São Paulo player saving a break-point in the opening game. After that he was firm with the serve, scored a break in the sixth, and only had greater difficulty in the serve when he was about to close. After losing the first match-point, Pucinelli faced a break against, saved himself and in the third chance he had, sealed the victory and the spot in the semi.