The last tennis Grand Slam tournament of the year got underway without any Algarve participation last Monday. Faro’s Rui Machado dispatched fellow qualifying hopeful Nick Landhal 6-2, 6-4 but was then prevented from reaching the main draw by 18-year-old American Ryan Harrison. In the wake of that defeat, the Portuguese No2 has decided to switch coaches from João Cunha e Silva to Bernardo Mota effective from October 1.
In contrast to Machado and Leonardo Tavares, who also lost in qualifying, Michelle Brito did make it into the tournament proper to join fellow Portuguese starter Frederico Gil. Unfortunately, the 17-year-old did not find her best game against Indian No1 Sania Mirza – world No160 but as high as 27th three years ago – and was beaten 6-3, 6-2. Thus sole Portuguese hopes rest on the shoulders of Gil who will have met giant American John Isner, who was given an extra day’s rest to recover from injury by organisers, on Wednesday night (after the Algarve Resident went to press).