“It’s Not a Goodbye, It’s A See you Later” – João Sousa Finishes Career at Home – TechVerdant

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Estoril, Portugal–

João Sousa ended his career in front of his home crowd with a 7-5 6-4 loss against Arthur Fils on Wednesday. Sousa is very far from his best, but he produced a solid performance against one of the most promising young players on tour and had opportunities to get a better result. In the end, though, logic prevailed, and the sun set on the career of the best Portuguese player of all-time.

During his career, Sousa pretty much crushed every record of Portuguese tennis, with a career high ranking of #28, four ATP titles, 11 finals, two last sixteen appearances in Grand Slams, and many other fantastic achievements. The most memorable moment of his career came at this tournament in 2018, when he beat Frances Tiafoe in the final to win his home tournament, after years of disappointing performances at home.

While in the grand scheme of things, Sousa’s career isn’t particularly noteworthy, as far as Portuguese tennis goes he’s a trailblazer, the first player who has truly made young people believe they can reach the highest levels in this sport if they put their mind to it and work as hard as they can. Sousa’s achievements will most likely be surpassed by another Portuguese player at some point soon–perhaps even Nuno Borges in the coming years, but Sousa will forever be etched in history as the one who paved the way.

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Sousa’s game was never very flashy; he didn’t have a big serve or any big groundstrokes, but he played with great intensity, fighting hard for every point, never giving up, solid off both wings. He retires with 220 wins and 263 losses at ATP level, numbers that reveal that he was never elite but was solid enough at the highest level for quite a long time. João Sousa has thrown down the gaunlet and it’s now up to younger Portuguese players to set new benchmarks for Portuguese tennis.

Main Photo Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports

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