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Underarm serve on championship point helps tricky Cuevas complete Brasil Open hat-trick

Albert Ramos-Vinolas may have something to say about the sportsmanship of Pablo Cuevas, who deployed a novel tactic to win the Brasil Open.

Pablo Cuevas - cropped
Pablo Cuevas playing in Brazil

Pablo Cuevas played an underarm second serve on his fourth championship point to complete a comeback from a set down and defeat Albert Ramos-Vinolas on Monday, the Uruguayan claiming a record third successive Brasil Open title after a rain delay lasting nearly 24 hours.

Uruguayan third seed Cuevas, champion at the ATP 250 event in Sao Paulo in 2015 and 2016, dropped the first set 7-6 (7-3) on Sunday.

Ramos-Vinolas was serving at deuce at 3-3 in the second when the weather intervened and, after a delay of several hours, organisers pushed back the finish to Monday.

More sustained bad weather put the expected start time back by another six hours and even when the decider eventually resumed, concerns over the condition of the clay surface prompted yet another interruption.

Ramos-Vinolas was broken in the first completed game on Monday and then missed two chances to break straight back, Cuevas taking the set 6-4 to send the final to a decider. 

The Spaniard was broken again in the fourth game of the third set but did save three championship points to delay the inevitable.

He was wrong-footed by Cuevas' improvisation on the fourth, though, managing to return the ball but then sending a forehand long to eventually succumb.

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