Home Sports Sebastián Báez won the Argentine duel and took another step towards defending his ATP title in Estoril

Sebastián Báez won the Argentine duel and took another step towards defending his ATP title in Estoril

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Sebastián Báez won the Argentine duel and took another step towards defending his ATP title in Estoril

Sebastian Baez took another step towards defending his crown in Estoril ATP 250. The world number 32 -and, since Monday, the Argentine with the highest ranking on the circuit- prevailed in a blue-and-white duel 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) against Pedro Cachin (67th) and reached the quarterfinals of the tournament, one of the first stages of the European brick dust tour, the most important of the year on this surface.

The man from Buenos Aires, who for the first time in his career faces the challenge of defending a title at the highest levels of men’s tennis, will now have a tough commitment. It’s that he’ll go looking for the pass for the semifinal against the Norwegian Casper Ruudworld number five and tournament favorite, who beat the Portuguese 4-6, 6-2 and 6-2 João Sousaguest of the organization.

“It was a very hard-fought game. I’m happy with the win and for the continuation of the tournament. I know Pedro well, before playing I already knew it would be a busy day. I’m happy to have overcome him,” he commented sebas.

And he added: “The strategy was mainly to face a mind game, that was the most complicated part of this duel. In the second game I had the options to solve it earlier, but everything fit together and I had to stay strong. It’s a problem of which I have to talk to my coach to do better in the next round and try to stay focused”.

Báez, the only Argentine champion in this 2023 (he won in Cordoba his second trophy), finished in the top eight of a tournament for the fourth time this season, also on clay. He had already reached that stage on the soil of Cordoba, in Rio de Janeiro (lost with Nicholas Jarry) It’s inside Santiago de Chile (hit Laslo Djere and then said goodbye in the semifinal against Thomas Etcheverry).

On Friday he will try to qualify for the semifinal for the third time when he comes up against Ruud, a very tough opponent, but who is not going through his best moment (record of 6-6 this year). It will be the first clash between the two.

Cachin failed in the albiceleste duel and said goodbye to Estoril.  Photo EFE/EPA/RODRIGO ANTUNES

Cachin failed in the albiceleste duel and said goodbye to Estoril. Photo EFE/EPA/RODRIGO ANTUNES

Báez – who won his first Estoril crown last year by beating the American in the final Frances Tiafoe– He is the only Argentinian still in the tournament. The thing is diego schwartzmannthe third who entered the draw, said goodbye in his debut after losing 6-3 and 7-6 (10-8) against Mark Cecchino.

He smallRanked 36th, he added his fifth defeat of 2023 on clay, a surface he felt very comfortable on – in 2020 he beat Roma in Rafael Nadal and was a semifinalist in Roland Garros-, but in which he has not yet managed to win this season. And he’s left with a record of three wins (in Australia, Indian Wells and Miami) and nine crashes this season.

The porteño, however, does not give up and continues to work to recover his best form. “Patience, research, desire. Listen, keep learning. Empty the petrol tank and always set off with your head held high whatever the result,” he wrote on his Instagram account after the elimination.

Source: Clarin

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