Nuno Borges woke up from a nightmare just in time at the Estoril Open | Tennis

Nuno Borges woke up from a nightmare just in time at the Estoril Open | Tennis
Nuno Borges woke up from a nightmare just in time at the Estoril Open | Tennis
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When the eighth game of the meeting between Lucas Pouille and Nuno Borges came to an end, the balance tipped completely towards the French tennis player. An 8-0 to start the Estoril Open 2024 is not exactly a welcome card, but the Portuguese number one was in time to make amends. He suddenly woke up from the nightmare, tied the fight in one tie-break and prevailed 2-1, to the delight of the large audience present at the Millennium Stadium, at Clube de Ténis do Estoril.

It was a meeting with ups and downs, with two interruptions caused by rain, with a match point for Pouille (formerly a top10 player, now in 241st place in the ranking) and with tremendous tenacity from the tennis player from Maia. The Frenchman, straight out of qualifying, he came in stronger, more solid from the back of the court and practically made no mistakes. It was enough for him, at first setwaiting for the opponent’s precipitation to close with a 6-0 that never ceased to surprise.

The result did not reflect the real value of the two tennis players (Borges occupies 62nd place in the ATP hierarchy), but the Portuguese would have to raise his level to be able to level the match. And that’s what he did. With longer points and a safer first serve, Lucas Pouille wore down and balanced the partial, correcting the initial 2-0 with a turnaround to 2-4. This ascendant gave him confidence and would close the set at the tie-break (8-6), with good actions at the net and canceling a match point along the way.

The balance remained at the start of the third half, with both tennis players winning the first three service games, until Nuno Borges broke Pouille and no longer let the advantage slip away, prevailing in the match by 0-6, 7- 6 (8-6) and 6-3, in 2h21m.

“It was a very difficult game, especially mentally. I didn’t start in the best way, I was nervous, it was the first match on clay, I didn’t feel at my best”, began by explaining the national number one, still on the court. “He started very well, but when I got my first game, I felt a certain relief and from then on I was able to play my best and I’m happy to have won.”

In the second round, Nuno Borges will face the Italian Lorenzo Musetti, third seed in the only Portuguese tournament on the ATP circuit and 24th in the world rankings, who was exempt in the opening round.

Also left out, but for different reasons, was Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, fourth seed. The Spaniard withdrew from the tournament, with the organization calling on Frenchman Richard Gasquet, who had been relegated from qualification, to take his place.

Fokina, 28th in the world rankings, was a semi-finalist at the Estoril Open in 2019 and 2021, ending up missing his fifth appearance at the Clube de Ténis do Estoril. “Richard Gasquet will play in the main draw as the lucky loser. He enters directly into the second round after Davidovich Fokina withdraws”, said the organization, justifying his abandonment with a tooth infection.

In the second round, Gasquet, winner of the tournament in 2015, will face the Austrian Dominic Thiem (91st), who this Monday beat the German Maximilian Marterer (97th), 6-1, 6-7 (3 -7), 6-4. Along with Marterer, Miomir Kecmanovic (50th), finalist in the 2023 edition and sixth seed, was also left out, after being overtaken by the Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut (93rd), by 6-1 and 7- 5, in 1h24m.

On Tuesday, on the second day of the main draw, we will have several Portuguese players in action, starting with Jaime Faria, who will face David Jorda Sanchis, at 12pm. At 2:30 pm, João Sousa squares off with Arthur Fils, before Henrique Rocha also faces a French opponent, in this case Gael Monfils. In pairs, Nuno Borges and Francisco Cabral will have Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul, also French, ahead (4:30 p.m.).


The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Nuno Borges woke nightmare time Estoril Open Tennis

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