Sensational Seba! Baez beats Tabilo for Santiago title

Argentine claims second trophy in as many weeks
March 04, 2024
Santiago champion Sebastian Baez celebrates his second title in as many weeks. By ATP Staff

Sebastian Baez finished his South American clay-court swing on a high Sunday in Santiago.

The Argentine rallied past home favourite Alejandro Tabilo 3-6, 6-0, 6-4 in the final of the Movistar Chile Open to secure his second title in as many weeks. Last week Baez triumphed at the ATP 500 in Rio de Janeiro.

“[I have] many feelings because in the beginning of the match, I didn't feel good,” Baez said. “It was all different, the first set, the second set and the third.

“I think it was from less to high all the time. So I will just enjoy with my team because we fought from years ago to be here and to want to be with high moments, high ranking.”

The 23-year-old has won nine consecutive matches and will climb to a career-high No. 19 in the PIF ATP Rankings Monday. He found his best tennis when it mattered most on Court Jaime Fillol, earning 12 of the championship clash’s final 16 games to emerge victorious after two hours and 14 minutes.

Baez’s winning streak appeared in jeopardy when this year’s Auckland champion Tabilo made a quick start in front of a partisan crowd. Chants of “Chi! Chi! Chi! Le! Le! Le! Viva Chile!” filled the air as day turned to night and the lefty moved to within a set of earning his second ATP Tour crown.

Tabilo also was able to draw confidence from the pair's first Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting last year in Cordoba, which he won in straight sets. But one of the key differences in this encounter was how Baez performed under pressure.

When the pair met in Cordoba, the Argentine saved just one of the six break points he faced. In Santiago, he saved eight of 10 break points while converting five of his 16 opportunities according to Infosys ATP Stats.

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After an uncharacteristically out-of-rhythm start from Baez, he locked in from the back of the court for the final two sets. Many rallies were grinding duels from behind the baseline and in those situations, Tabilo was unable to consistently find ways to put his opponent under duress.

The Chilean found his moments and hit some jaw-dropping shots, including a stunning backhand down the line to help him break back when Baez served for the match at 5-3 in the deciding set.

But the second seed was able to successfully ride those waves of momentum and rely on his heavy forehand to control the action. Despite losing serve on the verge of victory, he broke in the next game, hitting a final forehand winner to capture his fifth title since the start of the 2023 season.

Baez is now fifth in the PIF ATP Live Race To Turin and is 16-5 in 2024. He is trying to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals for the first time. What will come next for the Argentine?

“We will try to be focused on the job,” Baez said. “And we'll see.”

Did You Know?
Baez became the first player to win multiple titles during the South American clay-court swing since Cristian Garin in 2020.

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