RIO DE JANEIRO, February 22, 2016
Pablo Cuevas dodged rain drops in defeating a dogged Guido Pella in the final of the Rio Open 6-4,6-7, 6-4 to claim his first ATP World Tour 500 title on Sunday.
The Uruguayan, who upset Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals, claimed his fourth ATP World Tour title overall after a 3.5-hour rain delay halted play in the first set. He hit 14 aces, saved all of the two break points he faced, converting two of his own to prevail in two hours and 16 minutes of play.
Cuevas is the first player to win a tour-level crown without facing a right-handed opponent. He defeated five straight lefties en route to the title.
“I’m very happy to win my first 500 title, especially after winning a special semi-final against one of the greatest players ever on clay (Nadal). Today, against Guido, I won a difficult but good match between the two of us. I really love my time in Brazil, not only when I’m on court. I enjoy it when I play here,” Cuevas said.
“Guido is a very complete player. He had a great week here. I have nothing but nice words to say about him.”
Pella just stated: “It’s been a great week. Now, I have to get used to being in the Top 50 for the first time. It’s big, but I need to continue to focus and work hard.”
Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah won their second Rio de Janeiro crown in three years, overcoming six of seven break points in the final against Pablo Carreno-Busta and David Marrero, winning 7-6, 6-1 in one hour and 23 minutes. The second-seeded Colombians captured their sixth ATP World Tour team title and second in as many weeks, having triumphed in Buenos Aires.