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Cuevas Surges To First Final In Bastad; Sousa Overcomes Berlocq

Bastad, Sweden

Sousa© SkiStar Swedish OpenJoao Sousa advanced to his second ATP World Tour final, rallying past Carlos Berlocq in Bastad.

Pablo Cuevas earned his first ATP World Tour final berth, upsetting third seed Fernando Verdasco 7-6(6), 6-3 on Saturday at the SkiStar Swedish Open.

Cuevas will face Joao Sousa in the final as he continues his quest for a maiden tour-level crown. The World No. 111 is the third Uruguayan to reach a title match on the ATP World Tour, following in the footsteps of Diego Perez and five-time champion Marcelo Filippini.

The 5'11" right-hander saved all five break points he faced against Verdasco, firing 10 aces and winning 84 per cent of first serve points for the victory in one hour and 44 minutes. It was sweet revenge for Cuevas, who had fallen to the Spaniard in five sets in the second round at Roland Garros.

Watch Cuevas Interview (courtesy of SkiStar Swedish Open)

Cuevas 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.

The 28 year old will seek to become 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.

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Joao Sousa mounted a stunning comeback to halt Carlos Berlocq's title defence, rallying for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory in Bastad.

Berlocq was nearing the finish line, leading 6-3, 4-3 30/0, but Sousa would break back to level the second set and reel off three straight games to square the match at a set apiece.

The Argentine would go up a break twice more in the decider, but squandered both leads as Sousa fought back yet again. He would eventually break for the match on his first match point. The 25 year old converted on five of 18 break points in total.

"It was a really good fight. I'm really happy to be in the final," said Sousa.

Watch Sousa Interview

Sousa will vie for his second ATP World Tour crown, having triumphed on the hard courts of Kuala Lumpur last year (d. Benneteau). He became the first Portuguese to capture a tour-level trophy. His lone previous meeting with Cuevas came en route to the title, triumphing in three sets in the second round.

The Guimaraes native snaps a six-match losing skid to Top 50 opposition with the win, improving his FedEx ATP Win-Loss record on clay to 18-21. He had previously never reached a tour-level clay-court semi-final.

Brunstrom/Monroe Reach First Team Final
Johan Brunstrom and Nicolas Monroe advanced to their first final together in their first tournament as a team, upsetting top seeds David Marrero and Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4 on Saturday.

The Swedish-American duo, seeded fourth, will face Jeremy Chardy and Oliver Marach for the title. Brunstrom is seeking his fifth title in his 18th final, while Monroe is vying for his second trophy, having triumphed in Bastad last year alongside Simon Stadler.

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