Capela de São João Baptista in the Church of São Roque 71529144.jpg

Grand final

Following this year’s closing tournament in Buenos Aires, which featured a second round exit by Rui Machado while compatriot Gastao Elias beat Frederico Gil on the way to making only his second final appearance ever at this level, the 2012 ATP Challenger Tour reaches its climax in Brazil next week.

The eight-man Sao Paulo finals headed up by world tennis’ second tier leading player Machado is divided into two round-robin groups which will produce the four semi-finalists.

The Portuguese No1 and current world No73 from Faro opened proceedings against Germany’s Mathias Bachinger on Wednesday night and will be hoping to come out on top of a tough field also featuring former world No29 Dudi Sela from Israel and another German in the shape of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe.

The http://20,000 tournament reaches its conclusion on Sunday when London begins its staging of the top tier equivalent boasting the world’s eight top-ranked players including recent Paris champion Roger Federer and Britain’s Andy Murray.