Pedro Sousa Bids Farewell: 'I Have No Regrets'

  • Posted: Oct 06, 2023

Pedro Sousa Bids Farewell: ‘I Have No Regrets’

The 35-year-old is an eight-time ATP Challenger Tour champion

Former World No. 99 Pedro Sousa put a bow on his professional career Thursday at the Del Monte Lisboa Belém Open in Portugal.

The host site of the ATP Challenger Tour 75 event, the Club Internacional de Foot-Ball is Sousa’s home club, making the 35-year-old’s final tournament a memorable goodbye.

“The hardest part is long gone, it was when I had to make the decision. It seemed like this day would never come, but suddenly it was here,” Sousa said in Portuguese at a press conference in Lisbon. “Before the match I was okay, but then that pressure came. Playing here is always special. I had friends, family and club members that I see daily, which gave me extra strength to perform well.”

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Sousa, who turned pro in 2007, collected eight ATP Challenger Tour titles and is one of four Portuguese men to crack the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in the past decade.

After earning his 201st career Challenger-match victory this week in Lisbon, where his father ‘Manecas’ works as the tournament director, Sousa clashed against countryman and former World No. 28 Joao Sousa, who reached the highest ranking in Portuguese tennis history in 2016.

In front of a full crowd, Pedro soaked in the final moments of his career.

“I feel relief, finally,” Sousa said, while cracking a laugh. “It is what it is. I was more or less prepared. I also had some time to prepare. It was special because it happened in my club like I wanted, during a national holiday in front of a full stadium against the best Portuguese player ever.”

<a href=Joao Sousa (left) embraces Pedro Sousa, who was playing his final match Thursday in Lisbon.” />
Joao Sousa (left) embraces Pedro Sousa, who was playing his final match Thursday in Lisbon. Credit: FPT/Sara Falcao
Sousa’s most memorable moment from his career was representing his home country in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. The year prior, the Lisbon native enjoyed a surprise runner-up finish as a lucky loser at the ATP 250 event in Buenos Aires. All eight of his Challenger titles came on clay courts, with two triumphs on home soil. When Sousa reflected on his career, one match stuck out.

“The best match ever has to be the final against [Jan-Lennard] Struff in the [2018] Pullach [Germany] Challenger,” Sousa said. “Winning 6-3, 6-1 in the final of a Challenger 125 was even better than when I beat him the year before [in Davis Cup], because in that one I had to suffer a bit in the end.

“I’m happy and proud of my career and have no regrets. Most people don’t know the struggles we go through, it’s a very tough career. I’ve made some mistakes of course, but I’m happy with my achievements.”

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