Sousa denies Edmund

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Joao Sousa’s bid to become the first Portuguese winner of the Estoril Open remains on track after a topsy-turvy 6-3 1-6 6-0 win over Kyle Edmund

The home-favourite rebounded impressively from a second set pummelling to oust the British No.1 and delight his passionate supporters. He will encounter the on-form, Stefanos Tsitsipas, who defeated Roberto Carballes Baena 6-7(2) 6-2 7-6(3), in the semi-finals on Saturday.

It was a curious performance from Edmund. The 23-year-old failed to match the intensity on display from his fired-up opponent and lost the opener convincingly, however he showed just why he sits 45 ranking spots above Sousa in a quick-fire second set.

The momentum was with the Yorkshireman heading into the decider, however his level of play inexplicably plummeted and he meekly exited the tournament without winning another game.

Sousa is a vocal and fiery competitor and he fed off the energy from the vociferous crowd in the early stages. The Portuguese No.1 moved 5-3 ahead after Edmund mistimed a forehand, and that was all he required to snare the opening gambit.

Edmund looked downcast as he traipsed to his chair after a difficult 40 minutes, however he responded in a positive manner. He upped the ante from the baseline and his sledgehammer of a forehand, his prized asset, began to inflict significant damage.

The British No.1 achieved a break to love in just the second game of the second set, and it did not take him long to restore parity.

Edmund had established control, but he was unable to keep his opponent, or the crowd, at bay in a one-sided decider. Sousa, with the assistance of a bad bounce, achieved a 2-0 lead - and he was celebrating his third biggest victory of the campaign shortly afterwards.

At the ATP 250 event in Munich, Alexander Zverev eased into the last four with a comprehensive 6-3 6-2 success over Jan-Lennard Struff. Hyeon Chung, Philipp Kohlschreiber and Maximilian Marterer are also through.

Posted by: Graham Semple

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