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Smashing ladies

The ITF Futures series, distributing valuable WTA ranking points, has once again arrived in the Algarve.

This week, young talent hoping to break into the world’s top 200 among female tennis players are in action at the 13th Vale do Lobo Open until Sunday.

It is Albufeira’s turn next week before Portimão’s Tivoli Arade Ladies Open becomes the focus of attention from the 21st of this month.

Further afield, Portuguese No1 Michelle Brito won her first senior tour tournament in California while Maria João Koehler was only narrowly beaten in the final of a 25,000 dollar Rabat Challenger in Morocco.

Meanwhile, Faro ace Rui Machado was beaten 7-5, 1-6, 6-1 by world No30 Thomaz Belluci in the second round of the ATP 250 Chile Open but was the only Portuguese to reach the draw proper of this week’s Brazil Open.