Taberner To Face Sousa In Maia Open Final

Carlos Taberner (photo: Beatriz Ruivo/FPT)

STARNBERG, December 5, 2020

Carlos Taberner of Spain and home favourite Pedro Sousa will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the €44,820 Maia Open held at the Complexo Municipal de Ténis da Maia in Portugal.

Taberner fought past Croatian qualifier Duje Ajdukovic 7-5, 6-7(9), 6-4 in the stage of the final four on Saturday afternoon. The No. 8 seed of the ATP Challenger clay-court tournament won 72 per cent of his first-service points and capitalized on seven of his 20 break-point opportunities to secure victory in three hours and six minutes.

“It was really, really tough. I couldn’t win the match after the second set, where I had three match points, because I wasn’t able to play well at those times. I was more nervous and he played better. It was hard to accept, but I tried to stay positive and continued to believe in my chances. I’m tired, but very happy to be in the final,” Taberner said.

Later on Centre Court, Sousa defeated Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-4, 6-1. The No. 2 seed from Portugal outpointed his rival 64-43 after 63 minutes.

“I am very happy. It is the fourth final of the year and the second at home, so I hope that I will win one,” Sousa said.

Sousa, who finished runner-up at the Argentina Open in Buenos Aires, at the Split Open in Croatia as well as on home soil at Lisbon, is seeking his first title of the season. Taberner could lift his second trophy of the season following his maiden triumph at the Iasi Open in Romania. The pair will meet for the seventh time with the Portuguese leading 4-2 in their head-to-head records.

In other action, Zdenek Kolar from the Czech Republic and Andrea Vavassori of Italy clinched the doubles title. The No. 3 seeds edged past No. 4 seeds Lloyd Glasspool from Great Britain and Harri Heliovaara of Finland 6-3, 6-4. The final lasted one hour and four minutes.