Algarve aces

Following the February ladies WTA tournaments in the Algarve, it is now the turn of the men.

The first of three ITF http://www.0,000 Futures started in Faro this week with top seed and world No317 Pedro Sousa hoping to pick up valuable ranking points on the way to bigger things.

Along with assorted Spaniards, Italians and Eastern Europeans, the leading Portuguese hope will have Britain’s Matthew Short as well as seven German challengers to contend with.

Subsequent tournaments are scheduled to commence on Monday, again in Faro, and March 12 in Loule.

Further afield local one-time multiple Algarve Futures winner and Portuguese No1 Rui Machado continued to struggle to find his form in Argentina.  The 27-year-old followed his first round Brazil Open exit with defeat at the hands of Gilles Simon at the same stage in Buenos Aires and only partially redeemed himself by reaching the semi-finals of the doubles event Machado will now play in Accapulco before facing the world’s elite in Cincinatti and Miami.