Sebastian Baez’s rapid rise does not appear to be slowing down any time soon.
The Argentine, who competed in last year’s Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, reached his first ATP Tour final on Saturday when he battled past Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 in the semi-finals of the Chile Dove Men+Care Open in Santiago.
“I feel good because today was such a tough match because Ramos has a lot of experience, he’s a great player,” Baez said. “I’m happy to have won this match and I have a new opportunity tomorrow.”
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The seventh seed in Santiago, Baez had to work hard to make the championship clash. The 21-year-old saved 10 of the 12 break points he faced against second-seeded Ramos-Vinolas to triumph after two hours and 33 minutes.
“[The match] had a lot of important moments, not just in the first or in the third set, because it was all the match,” Baez said. “All the match was so close. In some moments, maybe today I had a little bit of luck.”
The key was second-serve success. Baez won 65 per cent of his second-serve points compared to 50 per cent for Ramos-Vinolas. That helped the Argentine take a 2-0 ATP Head2Head lead against the 31-year-old lefty, whom he also defeated at this year’s Australian Open.
Baez began last season outside the Top 300 of the ATP Rankings. He reached a career-high No. 72 earlier this month and is projected to climb higher than that on Monday thanks to his efforts in Chile.
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Baez improved to 26-2 in Chile at all levels since the beginning of last season.