Pablo Cuevas is gunning for a three-peat …
The 31-year-old Argentine-born Uruguayan tennis player will go for a record third consecutive Brasil Open title on Sunday.
Cuevas dismissed top seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 7-6(2) on Saturday in Sao Paulo to give himself a chance for the three-peat.
The third-seed won 82 percent of his first-serve points and feasted on Carreno Busta’s second serves, taking 70 percent of those points.
Since the first edition of the Brasil Open, in 2001, no player has won back-to-back-to-back titles at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament.
Spaniard Nicolas Almagro won back-to-back crowns in 2011-2012 but fell in the quarter-finals to David Nalbandian in 2013.
Cuevas has avoided such slip-ups this week.
He’ll try to win his sixth career ATP World Tour title – all on clay – against second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Cuevas leads their head-to-head series 3-1. The Spaniard erased a match point on Saturday against Portuguese Joao Sousa to win his semifinal 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 on the red clay.
Sousa had the match on his racquet, serving at 5-4 in the second set. The fourth seed fell behind 0/40 but crawled back into the game and led at ad-in. But Ramos-Vinolas erased the match point with a sharp forehand up the line that Sousa netted.
The Spaniard would earn the break and take the final nine of 11 games to claim the three-hour and three-minute semi-final.
Ramos-Vinolas last played in an ATP World Tour title match in October at the Chengdu Open in China (l. to Khachanov). He’ll be going for his second ATP World Tour crown after taking his maiden title last July on clay at the Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Fernando Verdasco).