SPORTS

Machado takes Status

Rui Machado won the singles trophy of the Status Athens Open at the Athens Tennis Club yesterday. The Portuguese player defeated Spain’s Daniel Munoz de la Nava 2-0 (6-3, 7-6) in the singles final yesterday to win his first ATP Challenger tournament in Athens and a cash prize of $12,250. «This is the most significant title of my career to date,» said the 25-year-old player. «Munoz was a very tough opponent,» he added. «Congratulations to everyone who worked for the organization of this tournament,» said Machado before promising to come to defend his title next year. In the doubles final, however, Machado was on the losing side as he and his partner, Dutchman Jesse Huta Galung, lost to Rameez Junald of Australia and Philipp Marx of Germany in the final 6-4, 6-3. As far as Greek players were concerned, the pair of Constantinos Economidis and Alexander Jakupovic reached the semifinal of the doubles, where they lost to Machado and Galung in straight sets (6-4, 7-5). Economidis also reached the quarterfinals of the singles draw in his return to major ATP tournaments. The Status Athens Open was deprived of its biggest star when Cyprus’s Marcos Baghdatis announced just one day before the start that he would not be participating due to injury, while the other famous player to enter, Slovakian Dominik Hrbaty was eliminated in the quarterfinals by the eventual winner, Machado. Nevertheless, attendance was quite satisfactory, with the weekend weather being kind to both organizers and players, following the complete washout last Monday. Celebrities from various walks of life as well as other sports chose to spend some time at the Athens Tennis Club to attend the final, while the most positive aspect was the presence of many children in the stands.