Pablo Cuevas beat Guido Pella to win Rio Open title


Pablo Cuevas claimed the biggest win of his career after taking out the Rio Open with victory over Guido Pella in Sunday’s final.

Cuevas needed two hours, 16 minutes to get past his Argentine opponent 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 on the Brazilian clay.

It was the Uruguayan’s first ATP 500 crown, adding to his three previous career ATP titles.

Pablo Cuevas of Uruguay holds the trophy

Cuevas had reached the decider after a marathon match against former world number one Rafael Nadal the day before, while Pella got past fifth seed Dominic Thiem in straight sets.

“We played a great final today and I hope the crowd enjoyed it,” Cuevas said after the win.

“I know the crowd were hoping for a big name in the final but I hope you still enjoyed it.”

Despite the 26-place gap between the two in the world rankings, the contest was an even one throughout, with only two break points converted in the match – one in the first and another in the third set by Cuevas.

The first set was tied at 3-3 before play was suspended for three hours due to rain, which had plagued several matches across the tournament.

Cuevas had been lethal on serve throughout the tournament and that proved no different in the final, hitting 14 aces and winning 78 per cent of points on his first serve.

However, Pella was not overawed in his first ATP final, and despite losing out in the first set he managed to pull it back in the second by winning the tie-break.

In the end, Cuevas proved too much of a task for Pella, with the 30-year-old winning his fourth career title.

“Congratulations to Pablo, you are a tremendous player,” Pella said. “You beat everyone this week, you’re the best.”

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