Sousa, Cuevas reach Swedish Open final

 

The Sports Network

Bastad, Sweden (SportsNetwork.com) - Joao Sousa of Portugal knocked off defending champion Carlos Berlocq in Saturday's semifinals of the Swedish Open and will meet Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas for the title.

The fifth-seeded Sousa rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory, while Cuevas knocked off third-seeded Fernando Verdasco of Spain, 7-6 (8-6), 6-3, to reach his first career ATP Tour final.

Berlocq, who beat Verdasco in last year's Bastad finale, appeared on his way toward a second straight title match at this event with a set and a break lead. Sousa, though, won the final three games of the second set to force a third.

Twice in the final set Berlocq opened a lead with a break of serve, but Sousa fought back each time and broke in the final game to capture the match.

Sousa will play in a final for the second time in his career. He beat Julien Benneteau for the title in Kuala Lumpur last year for his breakthrough title. His best finish this year had been a semifinal loss to Benjamin Becker last month in Den Bosch.

Cuevas saved each of the five break points he faced in beating Verdasco, avenging a five-set loss to the Spaniard in the second round of the French Open earlier this year.

Sousa and Cuevas have met just once previously, a three-set win for Sousa on his way to the Kuala Lumpur crown last year.

Cuevas, ranked 111th, can join Martin Klizan as the only two tournament winners from outside the top 100 this year. Klizan, then-No. 111, won the BMW Open in May.

The 2014 Bastad champ will collect $105,000.

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