Portugal’s Nuno Borges has put the tennis world on notice with his historic performance at the 2024 Australian Open, where he became the first Portuguese tennis player to reach the tournament’s fourth round.
His run only came to an end on Monday at the hands of the world’s number 3 tennis player Daniil Medvedev, who beat the 26-year-old Portuguese trailblazer in four sets – 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7 and 6-1.
Before reaching the fourth round, Borges (who before the tournament started was ranked 64th in the ATP ranking) eliminated Germany’s Maximillian Marterer in the first round, followed by two impressive wins against Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina (23rd) in the second round and Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov (13rd) – his first victory against a top-20 player.
“I never thought I could get this far. I played matches here which I will remember for the rest of my life. It was an unforgettable tournament and a very exciting experience,” Borges said after his loss to Medvedev.
“The match didn’t go the way I wanted it to (…). Daniil (Medvedev) plays very well, at a very high level and very consistently from start to finish, and I wasn’t able to keep my level of play. Even though I played a good match and showed I can compete with players like him, I was missing just a little bit extra,” he said, adding that he will use the experience to grow as a player. “Now I have to use this as motivation to go even further.”
What’s certain is that Nuno Borges’s performance at the Australian Open will see him climb into the ATP ranking top-50 for the first time in his career and become only the second Portuguese player to do so.
By MICHAEL BRUXO