Sebastian Baez capped a dream week on the Millennium Estoril Open with one in all his most dominant performances of the event to assert his first ATP Tour title. Enjoying in his second tour-level ultimate, the 21-year-old defeated Frances Tiafoe, 6-3, 6-2, within the championship match.
The Argentine collapsed to the courtroom in celebration as he capped the week of his life by profitable the final 5 video games of the ultimate. Through the trophy ceremony, he shared his ideas throughout that second: “So much issues, a variety of phrases,” he stated, “however I believe we greatest phrases had been ‘so proud’.”
Baez’s victory caps a banner day for younger stars on the ATP Tour following #NextGenATP Dane Holger Rune’s maiden tour-level title in Munich earlier on Sunday. The Argentine was a semi-finalist on the 2021 Intesa Sanpaolo Subsequent Gen ATP Finals, however simply misses the cutoff for eligibility this 12 months on account of turning 22 on 28 December.
After coming into the week at a career-high ATP Rating of No. 59, Baez is projected to rise into the highest 40 on Monday.
Within the Estoril ultimate, Baez dropped the primary two video games of the match and saved three break factors to keep away from taking place 0-3. However after holding serve in a six-deuce recreation — the longest of the one-hour, 14-minute contest — he sprinted to a 5-2 lead earlier than closing out the opening set with ease. It was the same story in set two, with Tiafoe unable to deal with the aggressive tennis from his opponent.
“I began so nervous. He began good, I believe,” Baez assessed. “After the third recreation, it was so necessary for each. I began to play higher…. The important thing was attempting to be within the recreation each time, attempt to suppose what I needed to do, and that is the distinction in the present day.”
Baez defeated three former champions on his option to the ultimate: Jaoa Sousa within the opening spherical, Richard Gasquet within the quarter-finals and defending champ Albert Ramos-Vinolas within the semis. Alongside sixth seed Ramos-Vinolas, he additionally beat third seed Marin Cilic and fifth seed Tiafoe.
Tiafoe offered inspiration for Baez all through the week after the Argentine seen his bracelet which reads “Why not me?” Baez wrote these phrases on the digicam lens after his victories this week. After his title-clinching win, he wrote “Sure it is me” alongside his signature.
“Unbelievable job by Sebastian. He deserved it. He performed higher than me in the present day,” Tiafoe stated through the ceremony, earlier than addressing the Portuguese followers. “I simply wish to thanks guys, actually. You guys made it an unbelievable week for me. I performed some loopy, loopy matches and I hope you guys actually loved it. I attempted to offer every little thing I had this week. Sadly I did not have a lot in the present day, however you guys had been unbelievable. I hope I can come again for a few years and we will maintain placing a present on this courtroom. It is one in all my favorite courts to play in.”
After receiving the trophy, Baez stated to Tiafoe: “Why not me? And why not you, man?”[NEWSLETTER FORM]