Pigossi and Stefani claim Brazil's first Olympic tennis medal

By: AFP      Published: 07:06 PM, 31 Jul, 2021
Pigossi and Stefani claim Brazil's first Olympic tennis medal
Brazil's Laura Pigossi (Bottom) and Brazil's Luisa Stefani celebrate after defeating Russia's Veronika Kudermetova and Russia's Elena Vesnina.

Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani won Brazil's first ever Olympic medal in tennis on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over Russians Veronika Kudermetova and Elena Vesnina in the women's doubles bronze-medal match.

The pair, who were last-minute call-ups for the Games, saved four consecutive match points in the deciding tie-break to win 4-6, 6-4, 11-9 after two hours and 11 minutes in the baking Tokyo heat.

"She (Stefani) is one of my best friends and being here with her and her believing in my dream, and I in hers, was the greatest gift for me," Pigossi said.

Brazil have sent tennis players to every Games since the sport was reintroduced to the Olympics in 1988.

Kudermetova and Vesnina, who will also play in Sunday's mixed doubles final alongside Aslan Karatsev, led 9-5 in the breaker but failed to secure victory.

The 26-year-old Pigossi and Stefani sealed their historic medal with a brilliant run of six straight points.

Both Pigossi and Stefani are ranked outside the top 300 in singles, although Stefani, 23, is a doubles world number 23.

The duo have won only $506,245 in prize money between them in their careers and unsurprisingly said they may now play more tournaments together.