Sousa stops Tsitsipas to reach home Estoril final
Estoril (Portugal) (AFP)
Portugal's Joao Sousa scored a popular victory on Saturday, defeating Greek teenager Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7/4) to reach the final of the Estoril Open.
He is the first local since Federico Gil in 2010 to make the home final.
The 44th-ranked Tsitsipas was beaten as he competed in his 10th match in 13 days after reaching the Barcelona final a week ago against Rafael Nadal.
Sousa will be aiming for his first trophy since winning at Valencia in 2015 as he plays the winner from second-seeded holder Pablo Carreno Busta and American Frances Tiafoe.
The 29-year-old Sousa, ranked 68th, began the season 3-6 but has turned his fortunes around, compiling a 14-4 record since March.
Sousa will be playing his 10th career final - he also won at Kuala Lumpur in 2013.
Tsitsipas made a strong recovery after losing the tight opening set against national number one Sousa, with the 19-year-old Greek sweeping the second set 6-1.
In the third, the pair stayed level until the tiebreaker, but Tsitsipas could not repeat his heroics of the quarter-finals here, when he rallied from 0-3 down in a third-set decider to beat Roberto Carballes Baena.
The inspired Sousa took a 5-0 lead and closed it out after his opponent saved a pair of match points before an error wide which ended the contest after just over two hours.
© 2018 AFP