(February 15, 2015) No. 32 Pablo Cuevas won his third career ATP title on Sunday beating qualifier Luca Vanni 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (4) for Brazil Open crown in Sao Paulo.
Cuevas, from Uruguay has won all three of his titles on clay courts.
“We were both very nervous, “Cuevas said. “I think it was the first time I played a final as the favourite. I thought that I couldn’t lose when that happens, but the matches become more difficult. In front of me I had someone that was playing with a lot of confidence and with a great serve. There were many mistakes at the end and the winner was the one who failed less than the other.
“I’m having a great comeback. I dream it will be good, but it’s better than I thought. I’m happy and enjoying the moment. But I’m healthy and I want more. I think I can give more and I thought about it when I could not play.”
The Italian Vanni, ranked 149th in the world had a career had never won a match on the ATP World Tour before this week. He advanced to the second round when top seed Feliciano Lopez pulled out with an injury and then advanced the final with wins over qualifier Thiemo de Bakker, Dusan Lajovic and Joao Souza.
“It was the best week of my career,” Vanni said. He was the first qualifier to ever reach the Sao Paulo final.
“I’m so happy. It was a close match. I fought hard against Cuevas. I’m so proud of myself,” Vanni said.
“I was in the chair before I served for the match and was thinking we are 1-all in the first set. I didn’t want to think we were at 5-4 and I was serving for the championship. I started with a good serve and then he played solid and didn’t miss a ball. He put every ball inside the court. I took some risks, which can be good sometimes and sometimes not. But I have to be satisfied after this week.”
“There couldn’t be a more difficult match to end the tournament,” Cuevas said. “I started playing well but things changed quickly in the second set. Maybe I relaxed too much. I’m glad that in the end I was able to come away with the title.”
Cuevas will move into the top 25, which will be a career high for the 29-year-old.