Big hitters

Vale do Lobo staged the first of three Algarve http://www.0,000 ITF Futures men’s tournaments last week.

Portuguese Davis Cup team mates Rui Machado, Andre Gaspar Murta and Pedro Sousa all welcomed the opportunity to pick up some valuable ATP ranking points, with Faro’s former national No1 Machado the first to exit to Belgian Germain Gigounon at the quarter-final stage. Olhao newcomer Murta was then just bested 7-5, 7-5 by the much higher ranked Sousa, who went on to lose the title match 7-6, 6-2 to Belgian top seed Niels Desein. Sousa did gain a degree of compensation when taking the doubles event alongside partner Gonçalo Falcão against experienced Spanish opposition.

This week the action continues in Loulé with all the above principals once more in the starting line-up.