Bellucci Claims Inaugural Geneva Open Crown

24 May 2015

Thomaz Bellucci won the inaugural Geneva Open title, defeating Joao Sousa 7-6(4), 6-4 on Sunday.

World No. 60 Bellucci claimed his fourth ATP World Tour crown and first since prevailing on the clay of Gstaad in 2012. Three of the Brazilian's four titles have come on Swiss soil (also Gstaad 2009). The 27 year old, who is the second South American champion on the ATP World Tour this year, joining Pablo Cuevas (Sao Paulo), needed one hour and 34 minutes to secure victory.

"It wasn't easy to play today," said Bellucci. "It was very windy. I was more solid at the baseline. Mentally I was strong all week so maybe that was the key today... The conditions in Geneva are good for me. The ball bounces high and I like the clay courts here. It's similar to where I practise in Sao Paulo. I'm feeling very relaxed and happy to win my third title in Switzerland. I hope to come back next year.

"I don't have much time to celebrate because tomorrow I have to be practising again for Roland Garros. This week gave me a lot of confidence, so I hope to keep playing like that and I hope to be ready for the next week."

Bellucci sprinted to an early lead behind an immediate break of serve in the opening game, but Sousa would not go down quietly, breaking back for 3-3 and staving off three set points after the Brazilian secured a second break for 5-4. The first set would be settled in a tie-break, where Sousa squandered an early mini-break advantage before falling 7-4.

The second set followed a similar script, but with the Portuguese racing to a quick 2-0 lead after an initial break. He would maintain the lead until the eighth game when Bellucci, sensing the finish line, broke back and reeled off four straight games to capture the title. He fired four aces, won 64 per cent of first serve points and converted on four of six break opportunities.

Bellucci, who takes home €80,000 and 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points, is the fourth ATP World Tour titlist outside the Top 50 this year, joining then No. 63 Jiri Vesely (Auckland), No. 73 Victor Estrella Burgos (Quito) and No. 92 Viktor Troicki (Sydney).

Sousa, meanwhile, was attempting to become the first player to win an ATP World Tour title this year having rallied from a match point down during a tournament. He saved four match points in defeating Pablo Andujar in the quarter-finals. The 26 year old was contesting his fourth tour-level final, seeking his second title (Kuala Lumpur 2013).

"I’m not happy today but I think that it’s still a good week for me," Sousa said. "I’m leaving for Paris with good rhythm and confidence. That’s very important before the start of Roland Garros. I won four matches here and I’m feeling well. It’s great that I reached the final here. I had a great week here and enjoyed this tournament a lot."