Sao Paulo, Brazil (SportsNetwork.com) - Pablo Cuevas won a third-set tiebreaker to capture the championship of the Brasil Open and end Luca Vanni's surprising run to the title match.
The fifth-seeded Cuevas earned his third career ATP title with a hard-fought 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7-4) decision over Vanni, a qualifier ranked 149th in the world who had never won a match on the tour prior to this indoor clay event.
"I'm having a great comeback," said Cuevas. "I dream it will be good, but it's better than I thought. I'm happy and enjoying the moment. But I'm healthy and I want more. I think I can give more and I thought about it when I could not play."
Vanni was on the verge of his first-ever title after breaking Cuevas to go up 5-4 in the third set. However, the Uruguayan veteran returned the favor in the following game before both players held serve to force the tiebreaker.
Cuevas then jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the tiebreaker before finishing out the two-hour, two-minute match.
"I'm so happy. It was a close match," said Vanni. "I fought hard against Cuevas. I'm so proud of myself."
The 29-year-old Cuevas improved to 3-0 in ATP finals, having won titles at Bastad and Umag last year. He collected $42,600 for Sunday's victory.