Open surprise!

The only Portuguese man in the main draw of the Australian Open tennis championships, João Sousa, passed his first test with flying colours.

The 23-year-old world No100 readily disposed of local hope John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 and earned the right to face Britain’s Olympic champion and No3 seed Andy Murray (played after the Algarve Resident went to press) who was equally convincing during his opening 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 victory over Holland’s Robin Haase.

Two Portuguese girls successfully fought their way through last week’s qualifying tournament to earn both valuable ranking points and a shot at the big guns. Both acquitted themselves well, national No1 Maria João Koehler recovering from a set down to beat former world No34 Karin Knapp 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, while Michelle Brito made No19 seed Ekaterina Makarova fight all the way for her 6-2, 7-5 victory. 20-year-old Koehler’s triumph, which sees her take on former world No1 Jelena Jankovic next, is all the more remarkable as it is the first time a Portuguese woman has reached the second round of the Australian Open.