The 21-year-old advanced to his first tour-level final at the Swiss Open Gstaad and arrives in Italy in form, after defeating Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and fellow Milan rival Carlos Alcaraz en route to the last eight in Paris.
ATPTour.com caught up with the World No. 67 at the 21-and-under event.
Baez Excited To Test Himself Against Fellow Milan Competitors
A lot of the #NextGenATP players have been doing amazing things this year. How much does it motivate you, seeing the other young players doing well? Is there anyone in particular who has really impressed you?
For me to be here at the [Intesa Sanpaolo] Next Gen ATP Finals is great. It is always good to play against the best younger players in the world. It is an honour to be in the top eight and it is going to be a great week for us.
When you were growing up there were Roger, Rafa and Novak, who created great rivalries. As you’re competing with other #NextGenATP players, have you thought about your budding rivalries and playing against them for many years?
I hope we can have the same rivalries with the players that Novak, Rafa and Roger had. The Next Gen players had a lot of good results this year and next year we are going to play each other more than this year, so it is going to be a whole different level.
Have you watched the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals before and if so what were your thoughts?
I saw it two years ago. It is a different event. The rules are totally different, but it is also good. It is really fun and I think it is going to be really nice where we are playing with great support.
The Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals always has many innovations. Were there any that you particularly enjoyed and look forward to using and if so, why?
I am looking forward to speaking to my coach on court and when we can see the stats of our opponents. I think it is something different, but it is going to be cool and helpful.
When you think of Italy, what do you think of?
I have never been in Milan, but I played in Rome and it is always nice to play in Italy. I like to play in this country, I feel good here and I hope I can play well in Milan. The crowd in Italy is nice to play in front of. I am lucky to be in the same group as Lorenzo [Musetti]. It is going to be a great atmosphere for sure.
What’s your favourite Italian food?
In Italy the pizza is pretty good and the tiramisu. I just love the tiramisu! The food in Italy is really good.