João Sousa won in the first round of Rio de Janeiro

Portuguese João Sousa today passed the first round of the Tennis Open in Rio de Janeiro ATP 500 tournament, defeating Argentine Guido Pella 6-4, 3-6 and 6-4.

Sousa is the 40th in the world ranking and Pella the 46th, so we anticipated a fairly balanced showdown between two players who know each other well: they usually play pairs together and are training partners in major tournaments.

The balance was indeed the dominant note almost to the end, with the Portuguese, very strong in their service, to break the opponent’s after the 4-4 of the last set, to finish without great pressure in two hours and 13 minutes.

João Sousa will now face Casper Ruud, the 135th-ranked Norwegian, in a game scheduled for Wednesday.

Still today, Pedro Sousa (99th) also enters the scene, being his opponent the Brazilian Thiago Monteiro (126).

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