Borges To Face Paire For Maia Open Title

Nuno Borges (photo: Sebastião Guimarães/FPT)

MAIA, December 2, 2023

Home favourite Nuno Borges kept his childhood dream alive and qualified for the singles final of the Maia Open, an ATP Challenger Tour event organized by the Portuguese Tennis Federation and the Maia City Hall at the Maia Municipal Tennis Complex, where he will face Frenchman Benoit Paire.

Reaching the semi-finals for the fourth consecutive time in the tournament, the highest-ranked Portuguese tennis player (78th in the world rankings) matched his 2021 campaign by defeating Frenchman Matteo Martineau of France of 7-6(5), 6-4 on Saturday.

“This final means a lot to me for many reasons: playing at home and gaining crucial points to stay in the top 100, potentially securing a spot in the Olympics. All that is extra motivation, and fortunately, I’ve been in a good mental state,” Borges explained in a press conference, looking forward to the clash with Paire, scheduled for Sunday at 11 am.

“He’s a very capable player, who instinctively goes for shots without overthinking. He has a lot of experience doing that and hesitates very little. Sometimes, it might not be the best move, but he goes for it without hesitation, making him very dangerous. The opponent must be attentive to these changes he makes and the dangerous starts to rallies, both with his forehand and backhand, as he wins a lot of points even with his forehand. I’ll try to force him to play more balls because he might not like extended rallies, but he defends very well, and clay courts are not unfamiliar to him,” Borges commented.

The charismatic 34-year-old French player overcame his compatriot Maxime Janvier 6-2, 7-5 in one hour 31 minutes.

“I feel very good. I’m here to win the tournament, and I’m very happy to be in the final. I’m confident, I like the conditions, and I enjoy playing indoor clay courts,” Paire said. “Being in the final means a lot to me. I struggled earlier this year, dropping to 217, and now I’m at 117. It’s not easy for me to keep playing these events because I typically played in bigger tournaments, but these are good points for the next season and to qualify for the main draw of Roland-Garros and Wimbledon.”

Bortolotti/Vavassori triumph in doubles

Wrapping up Saturday’s events, Italians Marco Bortolotti and Andrea Vavassori saved a championship point in the match tie-break and defeated Brazilian Fernando Romboli and Pole Szymon Walkow 6-4, 3-6, 12-10 to claim the doubles title.