Pune, February 6, 2022: Portuguese star Joao Sousa continued his brilliant run in the tournament as he clinched his first singles title since 2018, beating Finninsh youngster Emil Ruusuvuori 7-6 (11-9), 4-6, 6-1 in a hard-fought summit clash.
Regarded as the best Portuguese player of all time, the former World No. 28 Sousa, once again proved his mettle when he kept his cool despite an intense first two sets to win the third clinically. It was also Sousa's fourth ATP title in his career.
Earlier the Indian duo, which kickstarted the year on a high with their maiden ATP title together in Adelaide in January, started off well and despite some stiff challenge from the top seeds, put themselves ahead in the contest at 5-4. However, the Aussie pair, looking to win their first title, took the set into the tie-breaker and wrapped up the opening set after that lasted for close to an hour.
Veteran doubles player Bopanna and his young energetic partner Ramkumar fought back well with a 4-2 lead in the second set. They further capitalised the momentum and levelled the scores.
Having titled the momentum in their favour, Bopanna and Ramkumar held their nerves to take the charge in the crucial decider and secured a win in the grueling encounter.
Talking about the duo's two titles this year, the Bengaluru-native added: "Both are extremely special but anytime you win a title at home it’s a lot more special. The crowd made a lot of difference both yesterday and today, you just get that extra boost, that extra energy. Even if your legs are feeling tired, that’s the energy you need to hit the serve, especially for me. Winning in India is always special and especially with an Indian partner is truly great."
"I just have to work on a few things on court and just keep competing at this level as much as I can which will improve my game and automatically the ranking," the 27-year-old Ramkuamr said.
The prestigious tournament is being owned by IMG and operated by RISE Worldwide in India.