Ferreira wins all-Brazil battle in WSL

Defending world surfing champion Italo Ferreira has claimed success over fellow Brazilian Gabriel Medina in the final of the WSL event in Newcastle.

GABRIEL MEDINA.
GABRIEL MEDINA. Picture: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Defending World Surf League champion Italo Ferreira has won an all-Brazilian final over Gabriel Medina at the Newcastle Cup.

The 2019 world champion pipped compatriot Medina in a tight decider at Merewether Beach on Saturday to move to the top of the world rankings after two events.

A pair of seven-point rides was enough for Ferreira to win the title from two-time world champion Medina, securing a 14.94 two-wave total in comparison to Medina's 13.27.

After an action-packed start, Ferreira used priority to hold off Medina for most of the 40-minute final despite his rival needing just a 6.34 to take the lead.

The 26-year-old's win is his seventh WSL event title and means he heads to the Narrabeen Classic in the yellow tour leader's jersey, replacing Hawaii's John John Florence.

"So incredible to compete against all those guys, they always push me a lot," Ferreira told the WSL broadcast, after improving his head-to-head record over Medina to 7-3.

"This guy (Medina) is a machine. He pushes me a lot. It's going to be good run."

Medina stays second on the rankings having finished as runner-up in both finals so far in the wrap-around season, after losing to Florence in December's Pipe Masters.

Earlier in the day, the Brazilian ended the giant-killing run of local favourite Morgan Cibilic with a stunning aerial move in the last four.

Medina completed a full airborne rotation in a 9.70 ride that finally stopped Cibilic after the Merewether favourite had earlier reached his first WSL semi-final by pipping fellow local Ryan Callinan in the quarters.

"Over the moon," Cibilic said.

"I never would have imagined going this far in a CT (event), let alone my second one."

Despite his defeat, Cibilic will be one of the surfers to watch when the Narrabeen Classic competition window opens on April 16.