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

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

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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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