Watch highlights of the Brasil Open 2016 final in Sao Paulo, featuring Pablo Cuevas versus Pablo Carreno Busta. Photo: Brasil Open 2016

Cuevas Rules In Brazil

Defending champion beats Carreno Busta

Pablo Cuevas successfully defended his Brasil Open title with a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory over Pablo Carreno Busta in the final on Sunday. The 30 year old earned his fifth tour-level title and second in as many weeks after winning the Rio Open seven days ago. He is now 5-1 in ATP World Tour final appearances, all on clay courts.

“During the tournament, I didn’t play as well as I did in Rio,” Cuevas said. “I was making more unforced errors and being less aggressive, but I was focused and calm, which was the key to winning this week. I was down in the tie-break, but came back to win the first set. In the second set, there were many long rallies, but I think he got a little tired and I was able to make a difference.”

The Uruguayan only dropped serve once and converted three break point chances (3/5) during the 85-minute encounter. His second Sao Paulo title match was a breeze compared to last year’s final, when he broke back down 4-5 in the final set and saw off Luca Vanni 7-6 in the deciding tie-break.

“It’s not easy to repeat because you have pressure as the defending champion," Cuevas added. "But winning in Rio against Nadal gave me a lot of confidence. I’m very proud of the way I handled the conditions here and to win again in Sao Paulo.

“My goal is to be in the Top 20 this year. I hope to keep playing like I’ve done in the past weeks.”

Cuevas is on a nine-match winning streak and improved to 11-1 on clay in 2016. He received 250 Emirates ATP Rankings points and $77,600. Carreno Busta, a first-time finalist at tour-level, earned 150 points and $40,870.

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