Rio de Janeiro - Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, coming off an upset of Rafael Nadal, won his fourth career ATP title on Sunday, defeating Argentina's Guido Pella 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-4 in the Rio Open final.
Cuevas smashed a forehand winner on the final point, the only break point either player managed in the last two sets, to claim the crown after two hours and 16 minutes at the clay court event.
The final was interrupted by rain in the opening set and completed in the early morning hours of Monday.
The $303 000 top prize was the biggest single payday of Cuevas' career, coming after his semi-final shocker over Nadal.
"I know people were expecting Nadal but I'm glad you cheered for me," Cuevas said. "I hope everybody in Uruguay enjoyed it."
Left-hander Pella, ranked 71st, is likely to jump to a career-best ranking later on Monday despite failing to capture his first ATP crown. He took home a runner-up prize of $142 450, the biggest payday of his career.
Cuevas, ranked 45th but set to jump to 27th, missed two seasons from 2011 to 2013 due to injury but has come back to win titles at the 2014 Swedish and Croatian Opens and last year's Brazil Open at Sao Paulo.