Portugal’s Joao Sousa drew on his experience to end Elias Ymers sensational run at the 2022 Tata Open Maharashtra with a remarkable three-set win to enter the singles final at the Balewadi Stadium here on Saturday.
Sousa fought back from a set down to win the nail-biting semi-final 5-7, 7-6(4), 7-5 at the fourth edition of South Asia’s only ATP-250 event organised by the Maharashtra State Lawn Tennis Association.
He will take on sixth-seeded Emil Ruusuvuori in the summit clash on Sunday.
Earlier, Ruusuvuori held his nerve during the crucial second-set tie-breaker to secure a hard-fought 6-3, 7-6(0) victory against Kamil Majchrzak and seal his berth in the final.
The final matches of singles, as well as doubles categories, will be played on Sunday.
Ymer, who stunned the top-seed and the World No. 15 Aslan Karatsev in the earlier round to earn the biggest win of his career, made a confident start to race to a 4-1 lead but Sousa recovered well in time to draw level at 5-5. However, Ymer regrouped and pocketed the set to take a 1-0 lead in the match.
Regarded as the best Portuguese player of all time, the former World No. 28, capitalised on the momentum gained towards the end of the opening set and led 4-1 in the second set. Sousa took away the set 7-4 in the tie-breaker.
The 32-year-old experienced campaigner put pressure on Ymer, who was in search of his first ATP title, giving him a neck-and-neck fight in the decider and successfully titled the momentum in his favour in a gruelling contest that lasted for more than three hours.
Later on Saturday, the star Indian pair of Rohan Bopanna and Ramkumar Ramanathan will look to seal their berth in the doubles final when they take on the French duo of Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul in their last-four game.
The top-seeded Australian duo of Luke Saville and John-Patrick Smith have already secured their place in the final when t’ey defeated India’s Saketh Myneni and Mukund Sasikumar on Friday night.
Singles: (6) Emil Ruusuvuori bt Kamil Majchrzak 6-3, 7-6 (7-0); Joao Sousa bt Elias Ymer 5-7, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5.