Henrique Rocha completes perfect week with “double” at Vale do Lobo Open I

The day before he had already won the pairs competition with his brother

This Sunday, tennis player Henrique Rocha sealed a perfect campaign by winning the singles title at the Vale do Lobo Open I, where, the day before, he had already lifted the doubles trophy alongside his older brother, Francisco Rocha.

This was the first of two ITF M25 tournaments organized consecutively by the Portuguese Tennis Federation at the Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy (12th to 19th and 19th to 26th November).

This Sunday's final, against the Czech Hynek Barton (531st), was the first meeting of the week in which Henrique Rocha (19 years old and ATP number 277) was at a disadvantage. But it quickly turned into the best of the five performances and, after just 73 minutes, they won the match with scores of 6-3 and 6-1.

Physically more worn out, Barton entered the final “on the attack” and scored the first break of service thanks to aggressive and varied tennis (many amorties), but not very judicious.

Rocha understood this, was quick to react and supported by very deep shots, with intelligent tennis and determined to take control of the points, he quickly took command of the first duel with this opponent he has known since his junior days.



“Today I played quite well. I had lost my last final and I wanted to go all out to win and that's what I did perfectly. I didn't start very well, but I managed to give a good response straight away and when I put my foot on the accelerator I didn't stop”, he said after lifting the trophy.

“In the first set, there were tough moments, but I always managed to overcome them and held on with my head. I was a little surprised by his style of play, because I had no idea he was coming so far forward, but I noticed that he was changing his rhythm a lot and making random changes, which gave me confidence and helped me realize that I could dominate.” , he concluded.

After Vila Real de Santo António (in February), Mungia (in June), Bakio (in July), Sintra (in August) and Tavira (in October), Vale do Lobo was the sixth singles title for Henrique Rocha — all in the ITF M25 category — among the seven finals he has already played in 2023.

The Porto-born tennis player started the season in 850th place in the rankings and with this Sunday's victory ensured an increase of around two dozen positions that on November 27th will leave him among the top 260 — once again defining the best classification of his career and keeping alive his dream of ensuring his presence in the Australian Open qualifying.

Talking about this goal not only doesn't intimidate him, it motivates him: “I'm quite ambitious, but I'm very aware of everything involved and I don't think about being number one tomorrow. I know what I work for and what I can do. But I like to be quite ambitious and next week I want to win again. I have to be at full capacity in every match because from now on they are all finals.”