Jaime Faria wins the Vale do Lobo Open

Jaime Faria became the first Portuguese to win four ITF tournaments in four consecutive weeks

Jaime Faria scored his 20th consecutive victory today and became champion of the Vale do Lobo Open, the ITF M25 that the Portuguese Tennis Federation organized at the Vale do Lobo Tennis Academy and which meant the Portuguese athlete's fourth title in four weeks.

In this Sunday's final, the 20-year-old was already leading 6-2 and 3-1 when Czech Hynek Barton (ranked 475th in the ranking) withdrew due to a back injury.

The title in Vale do Lobo joins those already built in Vila Real de Santo António, in Faro and Quinta do Lago and makes Jaime Faria the first Portuguese to win four ITF tournaments in four consecutive weeks.

One day after having faltered on a psychological level, Faria returned to the court with another attitude.

Oblivious to the Czech's physical problems, who the day before needed 2h50 to solve the respective semi-final, Faria was always available for the Czech's attacks and obtained the necessary advantage to cut off his aspirations.

«I'm still a little speechless because everything is happening so quickly», he said in this Sunday's interview. «It’s letting me go with the flow because things are happening and I have to keep working and playing.”

«He is a player with many weapons and very impulsive, so at any moment he can start to put the pieces together and become very dangerous. I had a certain advantage because I won two weeks ago and I showed from the beginning that I could be superior and hold my own when he was struggling. I quickly converted the points of break that I created and I was always very focused. It was a shame he couldn't finish the final, but the start I had was also decisive for that, because if he had been on top he clearly wouldn't have given up,” he said about the decisive clash.

This Sunday's victory was the 20th consecutive victory for Jaime Faria, a series that translates into the second best record in Portuguese tennis, surpassing those of Nuno Marques, in 1999, and Rui Machado, in 2015, but still behind the Algarve's — one of his current coaches at the High Performance Center of the Portuguese Tennis Federation — signed in 2008, when he played 26 consecutive matches.

With 100 points under his belt, the Portuguese tennis player with the most victories this year already knows that he will enter the top 300 for the first time (he started the year as 411th), but he keeps his feet on the ground: «In tennis we can have these results and then I get hit with humility, so enjoy and enjoy, but then I need to keep working».

The next tournament will be the Loulé Open, next week, which will be the sixth and last consecutive ITF M25 to take place in the Algarve.