Slater falls in Portugal; ASP world title is now Fanning’s to lose

Kelly Slater's one predictable weakness over his career has been wild card match-ups. And at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal that's exactly what did him in.
Kelly Slater’s one predictable weakness over his career has been wild card match-ups. And at the Rip Curl Pro in Portugal that’s exactly what did him in.

Kelly Slater’s bid for a 12th world title may have taken a fatal blow on Monday, as he lost to wild card Frederico Morais, Portugal’s national champion, in Round 2. Meanwhile, current points leader Mick Fanning survived his match with local Francisco Alves and advanced to Round 3, one step closer to his third ASP world championship.

Morais got past Slater on the back of a few huge moves. “Frederico had better waves and he capitalized on it,” said Slater. "I'm expecting now that I'll probably need to win or at least make the final in Hawaii for a shot at it. We got almost two months now; I'm going to go do some rehab, get my body back together, and try to get my mind back in it. If this week works out, great; if not, well Mick (Fanning) has been the great performer of the year. Obviously his results have been great at every event; it's hard to beat a guy like that."

Indeed, Fanning may have a shot of clinching the world title in Portugal when competition resumes.

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Mick Fanning (AUS) 13.00 def. Francisco Alves (PRT) 8.93
Heat 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.34 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 10.13
Heat 3: Michel Bourez (PYF) 14.50 def. Dillon Perillo (USA) 8.26
Heat 4: Adriano De Souza (BRA) 12.60 def. Raoni Monteiro (BRA) 11.03

RIP CURL PRO PORTUGAL REMAINING ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 5: C.J Hobgood (USA) vs. Yadin Nicol (AUS)
Heat 6: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Kieren Perrow (AUS)
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA) vs. Damien Hobgood (USA)
Heat 9: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 11: Travis Logie (ZAF) vs. Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)