Title Contenders Stumble on Opening Day

Top seeds had a tough go in Round One. Brazilian Miguel Pupo went to town in challenging Supertubos surf, taking out World No. 3 Matt Wilkinson. Then, in one of the biggest upsets of Day 1, local MEO Rip Curl Pro wildcard Frederico Morais initiated his giant-killing campaign with a win over World No. 2 Gabriel Medina. Even John John Florence, the Jeep rankings leader, was relegated to Round Two when Brazilian Tour veteran Jadson Andre upped the ante.

A Round Two loss for Medina could crush his World Title hopes, but Florence, the World No. 1, needs to watch his back. An early exit for him may enable Medina to go on a tear in Portugal, and close the gap heading into Hawaii.

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