Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas, the King of Clay?
While the field lacked any Top 20 players, Cuevas defended his title from last year and won his second consecutive claycourt title after the Rios Open, on Sunday beating Pablo Carreno Busta 7-6(4), 6-3 in the final of the Brasil Open.
It was the fifth ATP title for the 30 year old, who improved to 5-1 in career finals, all on clay. The week also followed a win over former King of Clay Rafael Nadal in Rio.
“I didn’t play as well as I did in Rio,” Cuevas said. “I was making more unforced errors and being less aggressive, but I was focused and calm, which was the key to winning this week. I was down in the tiebreak, but came back to win the first set. In the second set, there were many long rallies, but I think he got a little tired and I was able to make a difference.”
Cuevas jumped on three of five break point chances during the final.
“It’s not easy to repeat because you have pressure as the defending champion,” Cuevas said. “But winning in Rio against Nadal gave me a lot of confidence…My goal is to be in the Top 20 this year.”
Cuevas, who entered the week at No. 45 on the ATP rankings, is now on a nine-match win streak.
Carreno Busta was appearing in his first final and faced only one seeded player prior to the championship round, upending fellow Spaniard and No. 5 seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas in his opener.
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