Saturday is a day of semifinals at the Millennium Estoril Open. João Sousa and Stefanos Tsitsipas stepped the court to try their best and book a place in Sunday's final. It was a very intense match as the ATP stars took the match into a final set tie-break.
João Sousa vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
The Portuguese, João Sousa was playing his first semifinal in an ATP Tour event in Portugal and Stefanos Tsitsipas came from a fantastic run to Barcelona's final last week, where he just lost to Rafael Nadal.
First set to the home player
The first set had only a break and was very tight although the score doesn't show that. Both players were hitting very well and changing a lot of balls, but it was Sousa who took his chances and broke Stefanos' serve at the seventh game. He closed the set 6-4 after saving 2 break points when serving for it. The Portuguese was down 15-40 serving for the set but won four consecutive points to take it.
A little breakdown for the Portuguese and a better level from the Greek in the second set
In the second set, Stefanos Tsitsipas raised his level and didn't let João Sousa play his game. He started with a 5-0 lead before the world ranked 68 had won his first game of the set. The set ended 6-1. The difference was in the first and second serves. According to the stats, when Sousa put his first serve he was more likely to win the point that when he played on the second serve, and in the second set there was a lot of second serves.
Last intense set discussed in a tiebreak
The Portuguese athlete started the third set serving and the game went to deuce. Both players held their serves until the 6-6 in a very emotive match. The crowd was going wild and so were the players, as the sun kept burning.
A final set tie-break to decide who would be in the final of the Estoril Open was all the people could've asked. In the tie-break, Sousa started with a 4-0 lead. Soon he made the 5-2 and served for the match, the only thing he needed was to hold his serve, which he did for the first point, but after that, he lost the next one and Tsitsipas was able to reduce the score to 4-6. Serving to stay in the match, the Greek couldn't hold his serve and the victory smiled to the Portuguese.
João Sousa put 76% of first serves in, a much better percentage than Stefanos Tsitsipas whose percentage was 48%. Most of the times Sousa put his first serve, he won the point, which we can see by the 79% of first serve points won. In 61 points played on his first serve, he won 48.
Tsitsipas also had a good percentage of first serve points won, he won 34 out of 46. In the breakpoints chapter, the Greek wins as he saved two out of three and converted two out of four. At the end of the match, the players won the same amount of points, 88, but was Sousa the winner.
João Sousa will now face Frances Tiafoe for the title at the Millennium Estoril Open.
Stefanos Tsitsipas moves on and travels to Madrid where he will face a qualifier.