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High hopes for Algarve tennis Nº1

Algarve and Portugal tennis No1 Rui Machado has achieved his highest ever world ranking at No75 to coincide with the start of next week’s final Grand Slam tournament of the year, the US Open.

The 27-year-old from Faro, who has shown much improved form since his good performance against Roger Federer during June’s Davis Cup tie in Switzerland, will be hopeful of at least equalling his career best second round appearance at Flushing Meadows two years ago when narrowly beaten by Fernando Verdasco.

Meanwhile, former national No1 Frederico Gil has left his coach João Cunha e Silva partly as a result of slipping to No101 in the rankings and will be looked after by Michelle Brito mentor Antonio van Grichen in New York before deciding who will guide his progress in future.

Both Gil and Brito together with potential qualifiers Maria João Koehler, João Sousa and Gastão Elias are joining Machado for what must be the strongest Portuguese challenge in America ever.

Among the favourites for the title is last week’s Cincinatti victor Andy Murray, although there is a strong suspicion that the likes of Nadal, Federer or Djokavic did not give their all in that top ATP event in anticipation of the upcoming end-of-season highlight.