Monday, September 30, 2013

Sousa Clinches Malaysian Open Title

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- Unseeded Joao Sousa sprang a surprise by winning the 2013 Malaysian Open title after defeating France's Julien Bennenetau in the final at the Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, here Sunday.

The Portuguese, who lost to Bennenetau in the first set 2-6, struggled to eliminate his formidable opponent 7-5 and 6-4 in highly-charged two hours and 18 minutes match.

Sousa said he was happy with his performance today although his opponent gave him a tough fight in the first set.

"Today's was an amazing match. I'm very happy to make my country proud. I feel like I'm still dreaming.

"It was not an easy match, thanks a lot to all the supporters and hope will see all of you next year and win again," said Sousa who took home the winner's purse of US$158,000 (RM509,933), which was presented by Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said. The 24-years-old Sousa had beaten world number four David Ferrer of Spain in the quarter-final before knocking down Jurgen Melzer of Austria in the semi-final.

As for Bennenetau, who also a finalist in 2012 Malaysia Open, he expressed his disappointment on his loss for the second time in this tournament.

Last year, Bennenetau lost to Argentinian ace Juan Monaco in the final.

"Today was a very tough and hard match. I played very well. Tactically, I didn't make any mistake but he (Sousa) showed an energetic performances after defeating top seeded players this week and he deserved to win," said the 31-year-old Bennenetau.

Meanwhile, in the men's doubles final, Eric Butorac (United States)/Raven Klaasen (Russia) defeated the Uruguay-Argentina pair of Pablo Cuevas/Horacio Zeballos to take the title.

The pair received USD48,000 (RM154,848) in prize money which was presented by Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

-- BERNAMA

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