A Bridge Too Far for ‘o João’? Rafael in Madrid!

João Sousa completed an excellent performance in the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday.


On Tuesday, the Portuguese tennis player had already written another chapter in the history of Portuguese tennis. The 27-year-old tennis player defeated the Spaniard Marcel Granollers in straight sets by a double margin of 6-3 to pass the third round of one of the Masters 1000 tournaments for the first time.

Only one other Portuguese player, Frederico Gil, has done it before – in Monte Carlo in 2011.

Sousa defeated the Spanish “lucky loser,” who replaced the injured Roger Federer in the main draw, by 6-3, 6-3 in just 72 minutes.

Having made history by securing qualification for the quarter-final on Tuesday, João Sousa returned on Thursday to surpass even that. He stamped his passport to the quarter-finals of the Masters 1000 Madrid imperiously with a win in three sets against the American Jack Sock, currently number 26 in the ATP ranking.

With the scoreline at 6-1, 6-6 in two sets, Sousa still had everything to do to resolve the issue. When he was a break up in the tiebreaker, Jack US Sock injected new excitement into their meeting by winning it 7-3 – a comfortable margin of 4 points. However, João recovered from the emotion of a near miss, raising the level of his performance to take the deciding set 6-2 and close out the match in just under 2 hours 15 minutes.

“It is the first time that I have reached the quarterfinals at a Masters 1000 tournament!” he said proudly.

And what is his prize? In the quarterfinals, João Sousa will face Rafael Nadal. Maybe that will be a bridge too difficult to cross. Then again, who knows? Emotional drama is built on uncertainties.


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