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Cuevas Wins Maiden Crown In Bastad

Bastad, Sweden

Cuevas© SkiStar Swedish OpenPablo Cuevas won his first ATP World Tour title in Bastad.

Pablo Cuevas completed the best week of his career on the ATP World Tour in stunning fashion, routing Joao Sousa to claim his first tour-level crown at the SkiStar Swedish Open.

Cuevas needed just 59 minutes to dispatch Sousa 6-2, 6-1 in Bastad, converting on five of seven break points garnered. He becomes the first Uruguayan champion on the ATP World Tour since five-time titlist Marcelo Filippini triumphed in St. Poelten, Austria, in May 1997.

"This is an amazing week," said Cuevas. "Today I played unbelievably. I'm so happy to win my first title. This city is beautiful and for sure I'll be back next year."

The 28 year old is the third first-time winner this year, after Federico Delbonis in Sao Paulo (d. Lorenzi) and Roberto Bautista Agut in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (d. Becker). So far in 2014, players trying to win their first title are 3-6 in finals. Cuevas, who was born in Concordia, Argentina, is also the second Uruguayan to emerge victorious in Bastad, with Filippini prevailing in 1988.

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The World No. 111 is in the midst of a successful comeback campaign this year, following knee surgery that sidelined him for the entire 2012 season. In March, he hoisted his eighth ATP Challenger Tour trophy in defeat of Martin Klizan in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Cuevas dominated in all facets on Sunday, winning 74 per cent of service points (to Sousa’s 34 per cent). He is the second player outside the Top 100 in the Emirates ATP Rankings to win a title this year. Klizan, also ranked No. 111, prevailed at the BMW Open by FWU AG. Last year, four players ranked outside the Top 100 won titles.

Sousa, meanwhile, was vying for his second ATP World Tour crown, having triumphed on the hard courts of Kuala Lumpur in 2013 (d. Benneteau). He became the first Portuguese to capture a tour-level trophy. Sousa’s 17th match win of the year, a semi-final victory over Carlos Berlocq this week, is already one more than he won during his breakthrough 2013 campaign.

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