New tennis hope

André Gaspar Murta, an 18-year-old from Tavira, made his debut for the Portuguese national men’s team during last weekend’s Euro-Africa Group 2 Davis Cup eliminator in Lisbon.

The 1m92cm tall world No909 eased through the fifth and final rubber against Benin’s Tunde Segodo 6-1, 6-2 to wrap up a 5-0 success which also featured the return of Rui Machado from prolonged injury. The 30-year-old from Faro and the highest ranked Portuguese player of all time only 18 months ago but now showing at No317 in the world, took time to shake of his lack of match practice before convincingly beating Alexis Klegou 2-6, 6-2, 6-0. Whereas Machado was just glad to be back, Murta intends to hone his talent in Seville before competing in next month’s series of Algarve ATP Futures tournaments.