We sin from looking only at the big names in the men’s circuit: Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, Thiem, etc. However, beyond these series, there are also profiles that deserve applause for the validity and regularity they have had over time. Cases like that of Joao Sousa and its seven seasons within the hundred best in the world, for example. One of those rackets that do not make much noise but are always there, forming part of the elite. In an interview with colleagues Raquetc, the Portuguese spoke about his career and reviewed his most relevant moments on and off the track.

– Activity during quarantine

“I didn’t do anything for fifteen days because we knew the circuit would stop for a while, so there was no point in preparing myself. I disconnected those two weeks, but I was always connected with Frederico. Luckily I started playing at home since I have a track at home. The main objective was to maintain physical condition, which was not easy in these circumstances, in addition to improving some aspects, such as service. I took the opportunity to get a lot out, I think it is a shot that I have always been able to improve. ”

– Presence in exhibitions

“These exhibitions and tournaments that will take place and in which I will participate will be part of a preparation for the return of the circuit, which is our main objective. They will serve to adapt, to compete a little, I think it will be a great initiative to be able to gain some rhythm of play and be 100% when we can seriously compete again ”.

– Balance of his last decade

“Every year I set new goals, although I always think about the present, I think about each year and try to evolve as a player. This is how my career has evolved little by little. I never imagined that all that would happen to me, of achieving everything I have achieved so far. I just worked to achieve my goals, so each year I set a little bit higher goals, more ambitious goals. This is the way to go for a tennis player. ”

– Moving to Barcelona at 15 years old, key in his career

“It was the most difficult decision of my career, also on a personal level. It was a year in which I decided to bet everything on tennis, I decided to leave behind many things, friends, family, very important things for me. I tried to become a tennis professional, which was my dream, to be a professional and be in the top 100. It has been a very difficult adventure but it has helped me to learn what I have now and what I am ”.

– First title at Kuala Lumpur 2013

“It was probably the turning point to believe that he could be there, at the top, belonging to the tennis elite. It was a remarkable moment, but at the time I was not aware of what was happening as I am now, it was a completely unexpected title. Today I value it very much, in fact, sometimes I go back to watch some moments and the truth is that it was beautiful, a very special week. The final was practically lost, with several match points against, but I managed to turn it around. I showed the Portuguese claw and ended up winning ”.

– Last champion of the Valencia Open

“In 2015 I had a very good year, I played three finals, I was playing a great level of tennis. I knew that in that season I needed a title to feel really good, it was being an incredible year. I received a surprise in the final when I saw my parents arrive by car after a 14-hour trip from Guimarães. Again it was another almost lost final, with set and break down, but I knew that Bautista had come from playing a very hard semifinal the day before and had to try to push it to slow down a bit. It was another turning point where I was able to demonstrate once again that I was able to turn it around and end up winning. For me it was the culmination of what has probably been the best season of my career. ”

– Estoril 2018, prophet at home

“Francis Roig confessed to me in a conversation what he thought after seeing me lift the title: ‘That Joao wins the Estoril Open is like Rafa when Roland Garros wins.’ They were different tournaments, but the fact and the difficulty were probably very similar. Obviously, Rafa is tired of winning so many Roland Garros, but winning at home is a very difficult thing, there are many emotions that mix, many factors that people do not take into account. That week I had to play with Medvedev, Pedro Sousa, Edmund, Tsitsipas and Tiafoe. Two of them are in the top 10 today, so it really was a very special week for me, with many emotions. The best week of my career ”.

– Learning the lost finals

“People never remember the finals we reached, they only remember the titles. Being so close to a title and ending up losing it is very hard. I remember the first final that I missed, in Bastad 2014 with Cuevas. It was a very bad feeling, I remember Fred did an amazing job afterwards signaling me to keep the good stuff, that he is playing very well at an incredible level. That day I was very close to my second title, but if I kept playing like that I would get it. That’s what she told me. Accepting a loss in an ATP final is really difficult, it’s something we all fight for. ”

– Goals from now on

“I don’t think much about the future. I try to set my goals every season, to improve as a player, be ambitious and stay competitive. As long as that ambition and competitiveness remain in me, I will continue doing what I like, which is to play tennis. Everything that comes will always be welcome, although not everything will be flowers, that is impossible, otherwise the good times would not stand out. So far, I am proud of the career I have had. ”

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