LISBON/STARNBERG, October 8, 2023
Italian Flavio Cobolli claimed the singles titles at the Del Monte Lisboa Belém Open, an ATP Challenger 75 clay-court tournament organized by the Portuguese Tennis Federation and held at the Club Internacional de Foot-ball (CIF) with the support of the Lisbon City Council and the Belém Parish Council.
Competing in his fourth career final and the first of the season on the Challenger circuit, No. 2 seed Cobolli defeated Lebanese Benjamin Hassan 7-5, 7-5 on Sunday in Lisbon.
Although the decision was settled in two sets, Sunday’s final was an even affair and initially favored the Lebanese player, born and raised in Germany. In his third final and still in search of his first trophy at this level, Hassan managed to overcome his nerves and secured the first service break.
However, World No. 121 Cobolli was the more consistent player of the two, which made the difference in the end. With service breaks at crucial moments, 21-year-old from Florence secured victory in one hour and 49 minutes.
Flavio Cobolli d. Benjamin Hassan 7-5, 7-5 to claim the 2nd @ATPChallenger 🏆 of his career at the Del Monte Lisboa Belém Open.
A big fan of AS Roma & José Mourinho, the 21yo does the Cristiano Ronaldo celebration… and then gives one of his rackets to a young Italian supporter. pic.twitter.com/g9pm4wrsr4
— Gaspar Ribeiro Lança (@gasparlanca) October 8, 2023
Cobolli claimed his second ATP Challenger title of his career, following his maiden triumph in Zadar, Croatia last year. He earned €9,880 in prize money as well as 75 ATP Ranking points, which brings him closer than ever to breaking into the top 100
“This title means a lot to me. Now I am more relaxed because it was a very difficult week. I am very happy, but now I am only thinking about the next week because I am going to Malaga right after lunch. I want to celebrate this title next week in Rome, but first, I have another tournament ahead,” Cobolli explained at a press conference.
After praising José Mourinho—the coach of his favourite football team, AS Roma—during the week, Cobolli celebrated his victory at the CIF Stadium like Cristiano Ronaldo and revealed that he had planned every detail: “He is your ‘god’, mine is Totti. But yesterday, I went to a shopping center in Lisbon and bought Cristiano Ronaldo’s underwear to wear in today’s final. And I decided with my team that if I won, I would celebrate like him.”