Argentina’s Sebastian Baez, the 59th player in the world, won the ATP 250 Championship on clay in Estoril, outskirts of Lisbon, on Sunday, beating American Frances Tiafoe (29th place) in the final with 6-3 6-2 and just 1 hour 14 minutes of Play.
Baez won the first title of his career at the age of 21 in his second final, after he fought last February in the Santiago Championship, already on clay, losing to Spaniard Pedro Martinez. Thanks to this performance, he will be ranked 40th in the next ATP rankings on Monday.
“What can I say? A few weeks ago I was playing a completely different period than the one I am in today. Thanks to my team and the support of the fans, I really enjoyed this tournament (…) I hope to come back next year with more strength,” Baez said while receiving the winner’s award.
Against Tiafo, the young Argentine (1 m 70) showed his strength, especially in the forehand strikes, and his great ability to win against the Portuguese ocher.
Broken since the start of the first set, Baez gradually increased the pace and took control of his opponent physically, tired of several confrontations in three sets in the previous rounds.
Tiafoe, 24th and 29th overall, was playing his second final in Estoril, fourth in his career. He had already lost in 2018 on Portuguese clay to Portuguese Joao Sousa.