Sousa Successful In Pune, Returns To Winners’ Circle

Joao Sousa (photo: Tata Open Maharashtra)

PUNE/STARNBERG, February 6, 2022

Portuguese veteran Joao Sousa has clinched his first ATP Tour title in almost four years by lifting the trophy at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra. The 32-year-old outlasted Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland, No. 6 seed of the ATP 250 hard-court tournament in Pune, India, 7-6(9), 4-6, 6-1 in Sunday’s singles final.

Sousa broke his opponent’s serve four times and won 51 per cent of the total points played to seal victory in two hours and 43 minutes.

“It’s a great week for me,” said Sousa. “As I said yesterday, we’ve had a few tough moments in the past two years, and to get the title today is just a dream come true. If you’d asked me six months ago if I would be in a final, I would have said no.”

The World No. 137, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 28 six years ago, claimed his fourth ATP Tour career title, his first since his triumph on home soil at the Estoril Open in early May 2018. Sousa earned in South Asia $46,175 in prize money and collected 250 ATP Ranking points.

World No. 87 Ruusuvuori was playing in his first ATP Tour final. The 21-year-old pocketed $32,320 as well as 150 ATP Ranking points.

“I knew that Emil is a great player so it would be tough to close out the match,” said Sousa. “He played great tennis at the end of the second set…I knew that I had to be there [in the third set] and get my game into it.”