BRAGA/STARNBERG, September 26, 2021
Thiago Monteiro of Brazil was crowned champion of the third edition of the Braga Open. The top seed of the €44,820 ATP Challenger Tour clay-court tournament held at the Clube de Ténis de Braga in Portugal beat No. 4 seed Nikola Milojevic of Serbia 7-5, 7-5 in Sunday’s singles final.
World No. 90 Monteiro capitalized on five of his 12 break-point opportunities and won 53 per cent of the total point played to seal victory in two hours and 30 minutes.
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) September 26, 2021
“It went really well. The stands were packed, I didn’t expect so many people, but the Brazilian community is large and today there were several Brazilian flags and jerseys,” Monteiro said during his post-match press conference.
“This was something that gave me a lot of motivation and a lot of energy, in fact throughout the whole week I felt the people’s support. I’m happy that I managed to give them this title.”
Monteiro, who advanced to the title match with wins over German qualifier Peter Heller, local wild card entry Tiago Cacao, Andrea Arnaboldi of Italy and third-seeded Frenchman Hugo Gaston, pocketed €6,190 in prize money as well as 80 ATP Ranking points. The 27-year-old lefty claimed his sixth ATP Challenger Tour trophy, his first of the season.
Milojevic could also take some positives from this week in Braga. “Overall, I think I had a good match. I was able to save set points in the first set and get back into the match. In the second set it was similar, I recovered from the disadvantage to equalize, but he served better, he had more free points and that was one of the most important aspects,” the World No 148 said.
“I’m disappointed, of course, but I played this final better than the previous one in Bosnia. I’ve never reached two finals in two weeks and that’s a good consistency, especially since I haven’t had a good season. This week I felt especially good after saving six match points in the second round. I will try to use the confidence from these matches, in which I beat very good players, for the next tournament in Lisbon.”
The ATP Challenger Tour will stay in Portugal next week for the Del Monte Lisboa Belém Open. Jaume Munar is the defending champion.