Huge crowds in the Complexo Monte Aventino to watch Porto Open final

  • Article


Not even the scorching sun felt this weekend in the city stopped people from packing the Complexo Desportivo Monte Aventino for the final of the Porto Open Challenger 125, this Sunday. It was the presence of Portuguese tennis player João Sousa in this final (as well as all the other Portuguese players that took part in the tournament) that explained the good environment that was experienced there throughout the week.

João Sousa, back to play in a final after 15 months, lost in three sets to the Italian Luca Nardi, failing in obtaining his first challenger tittle since 2013, in his comeback to the competition after an injury. The best Portuguese tennis player of all time won the first set, but ended up being defeated by the 153rd ranked player of the world, 7-5, 4-6 and 1-6, after two hours and 15 minutes.

“There was a pleasant environment, the stadium was fully packed. They never put their arms down, constantly supporting me”, the player from Guimarães claimed, adding: “the support from the public was incredible, it gave me much strength. It was an environment similar to Davis Cup. Feeling this support is amazing”.

The former number one national player, expecting to win his first title in a challenger circuit since he won at “home”, in Guimarães in 2013, couldn’t hide his disappointment when he didn’t get the trophy of the Porto Open.

Champion in Kuala Lumpur (2013), Valencia (2015), Estoril (2018) and Pune (2022), João Sousa, having spent 8 uninterrupted years in the World Top 100 (until March 2021) and reaching the 28th position in the ATP ranking, had his solid path disturbed by a serious injury in his left foot at the 2019 final. In this comeback and with the results achieved in Porto, the tennis player, who started the week in the 352nd world position, went up 81 spots in the ATP ranking, to the 271st position.

Pairs Champion at… 45 years old

A worthy note should also go towards the pairs final of Porto Open, won by the Japanese pair Toshihide Matsui and Kaito Uesugi, who beat at the final the Indian pair Rithvik Choudary Bollipalli and Arjun Kadhe. The victory of 6-7(5) and 10-5 led the pair to the greatest tittle of their respective careers.

For Toshihide Matsui this win was even more special since he won his first Challenger of his career at 45 years old. He is now the oldest tennis player of the circuit. He played at the Porto Open with a pair 17 years younger.

The Porto Open Challenger 125 counted on the support of Porto City Hall through the municipal company Ágora and entry remained free throughout the entire event.