Sebastian Korda Closes In On Milan SFs | ATP Tour

Sebastian Korda was made to work hard for his opening victory against Hugo Gaston at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals. But he found the going slightly easier on Wednesday, overcoming Sebastian Baez to move to 2-0 in Group B in Milan.

The 21-year-old effectively used his flat and powerful groundstrokes to defeat Argentine Baez 4-3(3), 4-2, 4-2 in 75 minutes, moving to the verge of qualification.

Korda, who became just the second player alongside Borna Coric in tournament history to rally from two sets down when he defeated Gaston, will secure his semi-final place if the Frenchman overcomes home favourite Lorenzo Musetti in the last match of the day in Milan.

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In a tight first set, Korda rallied from 1-3 as he began to find his rhythm to impose his big-hitting game on the Argentine, closing the net more often to cause Baez problems. The American, who dominated the short rallies, remained focused throughout in front of a lively crowd at the Allianz Cloud to secure his victory.

Korda began the year No. 118 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, but now is No. 39 after a standout 2021 season. The American clinched his first tour-level title in Parma in May and overcame Alex de Minaur and Daniel Evans en route to the fourth round at Wimbledon in July.

Baez captured his first tour-level hard-court win against Musetti on Tuesday and could qualify for the semi-finals if he beats Gaston in his final round-robin match. The World No. 111 was in constant contact with his coach during his clash against Korda, with courtside coaching allowed at the 21-and-under event. But he could not find a way to stop the second seed.

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