Smash hits

Portimão is once again the venue for tennis’ Tivoli Ladies Open from tomorrow (Saturday).

The http://www.0,000 WTA-ranking tournament brings together around 100 aspiring professionals, with this year’s 9th edition headed up by Polish world No394 Patrycja Sanduska and Slovakian No501 Anja Priscan.

Play begins at 10am every day with most of the initial weekend taken up by qualifying matches before both the singles and doubles draws reach their climax the following Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile Faro’s Portuguese men’s No1 Rui Machado is set to resume play following his Australian Open exit in South America.

The 27-year-old world No73 is hoping to continue his climb up the ATP ranking list in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires and Acapulco before heading for the top-rated Indian Wells and Miami tournaments.

Davis Cup colleague Frederico Gil has already enjoyed considerable success on the same early season tour when reaching the semi-final of the Vina del Mar Open in Chile before partnering Daniel Gimeno-Traver to become only the fifth Portuguese man ever to take an ATP doubles title at the same venue last week. Both Machado and Gil should be seen in action closer to home this spring when amongst the field for the Estoril Open (April 28-May 6) where Juan Martin del Potro will be defending his 2011 crown.

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