Borges To Face Tseng In Maia Open Final

Nuno Borges (photo: Federação Portuguesa de Ténis)

MAIA/STARNBERG, December 18, 2021

Local hero Nuno Borges and Chun-hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei will compete in Sunday’s singles final of the Maia Open, the last ATP Challenger Tour tournament this season held on European soil. Borges, No. 5 seed of the €44,820 clay-court event in Northern Portugal, defeated Elliot Benchetrit of Morocco 6-2, 6-2 on Saturday afternoon.

The 24-year-old Maia native saved all three break points he faced and capitalized on four of his own eight break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 13 minutes. Borges will appear in his third Challenger career final, seeking his second trophy following his maiden triumph in Antalya, Turkey two weeks ago.

Tseng defeated top seed Andrej Martin of Slovakia for the second consecutive time. The No. 7 seed, who knocked out Martin in the stage of the final four last week, won 6-1, 6-2 in only 57 minutes. After finishing runner-up to Geoffrey Blancaneaux last Sunday, Tseng will try again to claim his first Challenger title.

“Nuno is a very aggressive player and puts a lot of pressure on opponents, so I will have to be prepared and need to be quick on the court,” former Junior World No. 1 Tseng said of his upcoming rival. “He is enjoying a great run and is very confident, but so am I and I’m looking forward to the final.”

The Asian won the only previous meeting between the two in the final of the 2018 ITF Pro Circuit event in Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal.

Borges/Cabral triumph in doubles

Later in the day, Borges was back on Center Court of the Complexo Municipal de Ténis da Maia, the club where the Portuguese started to play tennis.

Alongside his compatriot Francisco Cabral, the home favourites captured a record sixth ATP Challenger doubles title of the season by beating Piotr Matuszewski of Poland and Austrian David Pichler 6-4, 7-5. The final lasted one hour and 11 minutes.

“It’s special and a reward for all the work. Being able to experience all of this alongside Nuno, who is a childhood friend, makes it even more special,” Cabral said.

“It will be a good story to tell in a few years,” Borges added. “We didn’t even play that often together and I didn’t compete in many doubles tournaments, there was a time when I couldn’t even compete, but things clicked between us and I don’t see why we should stop. We are playing very well.”