Pedro Sousa, 32, aims big 2021 season after great end to 2020

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Pedro Sousa, 32, aims big 2021 season after great end to 2020

Portuguese tennis player Pedro Sousa admitted he felt a relief after winning it all in front of his home fans at the Maia Challenger. Sousa defeated Spain's Carlos Taberner in the final 6-0 5-7 6-2 to lift his eighth Challenger title and climb up to No.

105 in the world. "It couldn't be better," Sousa said after the match, per the ATP Challenger Tour website. "I'm a little relieved, because I had lost four finals in a row, three of them in Challengers, so I was getting a little bit worried.

But fortunately today I managed to handle the pressure well and ended up winning the title." Sousa broke back Taberner when he was serving for the second set set in the 10th game but then once again lost his serve in the 11th game.

"The first set was perfect, but I knew the match was going to be tight," Sousa acknowledged. "It's impossible to play a final and think that things are going to go well all the time. He improved in the second set and I lost a bit of my level, with some nerves in the mix, but luckily I still had time to win the match in three."

Sousa wants more success

Sousa, 32, aims to play as much as possible ATP events next year and improve his career-high ranking of No. 99 in the world. "Next year I want to continue climbing," Sousa noted. "I am working hard and focus every day on improving my ranking.

This year was positive for me, but I want to play as many ATP Tour tournaments as I can in 2021." Meanwhile, Argentine Francisco Cerundolo won the Campinas Challenger after beating Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4 3-6 6-3.

"The truth is that it feels incredible," Cerundolo admitted. "It was a great tournament for me. Two win a second title in three weeks is amazing. I'm very happy with what I achieved and the way I finished the year.

To finish the year in the Top 150 is crazy." Cerundolo was close to exiting the event in the round-of-16 but he found a way to beat Facundo Mena 4-6 7-5 7-6 (0). "In the second round, I did not play well," Cerundolo recalled.

"To win after saving a match point, holding the trophy in my hands, makes me happy. And the final was difficult too. Carballes is a tough opponent and he raised his level in the second set. But I'm very happy for what I did, to come back in the third."