Sebastian Baez Claims First ATP Tour Career Title at Estoril Open

It’s a special first for Sebastian Baez.

The 21-year-old Argentine tennis player enjoyed a straight-set victory over American Frances Tiafoe to win the Estoril Open on Sunday.

Sebastian BaezBaez won 6-3, 6-2 in 1 1/4 hours on the outdoor clay court for his first ATP Tour career title.

Tiafoe was playing in his fourth career final, and his second in Estoril. He lost the 2018 final to João Sousa in straight sets. He won his only title at Delray Beach in 2018.

Báez converted four of five break chances and hit four aces to beat the 24-year-old Tiafoe, who struggled with his serve.

Tiafoe had reached the final after beating countryman Sebastian Korda 4-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 after saving three match points on Saturday.

Báez has now reached a career high ATP singles ranking of No. 40 in the world, as of May 2, 2022.

Cuevas Gunning for Record Third Consecutive Brasil Open Title

Pablo Cuevas is gunning for a three-peat

The 31-year-old Argentine-born Uruguayan tennis player will go for a record third consecutive Brasil Open title on Sunday.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas dismissed top seed Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain 6-3, 7-6(2) on Saturday in Sao Paulo to give himself a chance for the three-peat.

The third-seed won 82 percent of his first-serve points and feasted on Carreno Busta’s second serves, taking 70 percent of those points.

Since the first edition of the Brasil Open, in 2001, no player has won back-to-back-to-back titles at the ATP World Tour 250 tournament.

Spaniard Nicolas Almagro won back-to-back crowns in 2011-2012 but fell in the quarter-finals to David Nalbandian in 2013.

Cuevas has avoided such slip-ups this week.

He’ll try to win his sixth career ATP World Tour title – all on clay – against second seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Cuevas leads their head-to-head series 3-1. The Spaniard erased a match point on Saturday against Portuguese Joao Sousa to win his semifinal 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-2 on the red clay.

Sousa had the match on his racquet, serving at 5-4 in the second set. The fourth seed fell behind 0/40 but crawled back into the game and led at ad-in. But Ramos-Vinolas erased the match point with a sharp forehand up the line that Sousa netted.

The Spaniard would earn the break and take the final nine of 11 games to claim the three-hour and three-minute semi-final.

Ramos-Vinolas last played in an ATP World Tour title match in October at the Chengdu Open in China (l. to Khachanov). He’ll be going for his second ATP World Tour crown after taking his maiden title last July on clay at the Swedish Open in Bastad (d. Fernando Verdasco).

del Potro Knocks Out World No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the First Round at the 2016 Rio Games

2016 Rio Games

Juan Martin del Potro is proving to be Novak Djokovic’s Olympic curse…

For the second Olympics in a row, the 27-year-old Argentine player has taken down Djokovic.

Juan Martin del Potro

del Potro, who beat the current ATP World No. 1 in the bronze-medal play-off at 2012 London Games, again overpowered Djokovic, taking down the Serb tennis star in the first round at the 2016 Rio Games 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-2).

Djokovic was in tears as he left the court after the match, which lasted two and a half hours.

“This is one of the toughest losses in my career,” said Djokovic, who was trying to win his first Olympic title.

Djokovic became the first man for 47 years to hold all four Grand Slam titles by winning the French Open in June.

He suffered a shock third-round loss to American Sam Querrey at Wimbledon but won his 30th Masters title in Toronto last week.

“It’s not easy to handle, especially now, just after the wounds are still fresh,” he added after failing to improve on the bronze he won at the 2008 Beijing Games.

“But you have to deal with it. It’s not the first or the last time that I have lost a tennis match. But the Olympic Games, yeah, it’s completely different.”

del Potro will face Portugal’s Joao Sousa in the second round on Monday.

The former US Open winner has dropped to 141st in the world after two years of injury problems but did not face a single break point on his serve against the 12-time Grand Slam champion.

“It was a wonderful evening from the beginning,” said del Potro.

“After all the effort I’ve put in to get back to playing tennis, I’ve defeated the number one. It was a dream night.”

Ferrer Beats Dustin Brown to Advance to Swedish Open Semifinals

David Ferrer continues to roll…

The 34-year-old Spanish tennis player battled past Dustin Brown 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 to reach the semifinals of the Swedish Open on Friday.

David Ferrer

Ferrer, the top seed and two-time champion at the tournament, improved his head-to-head record versus the German player to 4-0 following the 92-minute win, which was watched in the stands by Swedish tennis legend Bjorn Borg.

Ferrer will next face his compatriot, third seed Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

“He’s playing his best tennis of this season so I’m going to have to play very good and very consistent to have a good chance to be in the final,” said Ferrer of his opponent.

Ramos-Vinolas reached his second semifinal of 2016 as he defeated Andrea Arnaboldi. The Spaniard saved six of the 11 break points he faced to outlast the Italian 5-7, 7-5, 6-0 in what was their first tour-level meeting.

Fifth seed Fernando Verdasco eased into the last four in Bastad with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Facundo Bagnis in 68 minutes. The Spaniard will continue to bid for his eighth ATP World Tour singles title when he faces Gastao Elias.

“It’s great for me to be in the semifinals here again. Today I’m one step closer and hopefully tomorrow I will keep playing as good as today or even better,” said Verdasco. “I’m feeling pretty good. I’ve been playing better and better every day. Tomorrow I will face a Portuguese player and they are both playing good this week. I know that it’s going to be difficult.”

Elias reached his first ATP World Tour semifinal by upsetting second seed Joao Sousa 6-2, 6-2.

The 25-year-old Portuguese tennis player capitalized on five of his seven break point chances to notch his first win over his compatriot (Sousa now leads rivalry 2-1) in 62 minutes.

Bautista Agut Outlasts Steve Johnson to Reach Valencia Open Final

It wasn’t easy, but Roberto Bautista Agut has reached his sixth ATP World Tour final.

The 27-year-old Spanish player saved six match points before defeating American Steve Johnson 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (8) Saturday to reach the final of the Valencia Open.

Roberto Bautista Agut

Johnson had his first match point in the 12th game of the deciding set and then led 6-3 in the tiebreaker without being able to clinch the win.

Bautista Agut then set up his first match point with a backhand return winner and converted it when Johnson sent a backhand long.

He’ll next play Joao Sousa in the final after the Portuguese player beat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil 6-4, 6-4.

“It was an incredible match,” Bautista Augut said. “It was really tough and I was really close to losing. I think today I could win, I could lose — anything was possible on the court.”

Bautista Agut is hoping to clinch his first title of the year.

Cuevas Upsets Andreas Seppi to Reach the Croatia Open Quarterfinals

Pablo Cuevas is on an impressive roll…

The 28-year-old Uruguayan tenista, who won his first-ever ATP title at the Swedish Open earlier this month, upset sixth-seeded Andreas Seppi on Thursday to become the first qualifier to reach the Croatia Open quarterfinals in seven years.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas, riding the confidence of his maiden ATP title in Sweden, didn’t drop serve, played patiently from the baseline, and pushed Seppi into unforced errors.

Seppi failed to convert three break points while trailing 5-3 in the first set, and never recovered. He won the first game of the second set, then lost the next six, winning only four points on Cuevas’ serve.

Cuevas will play Teymuraz Gabashvilion Friday, after the Russian came from a set and a break down to beat João Sousa of Portugal, a rising star on the tour.

Cuevas Loses Only Three Games in the Swedish Open Final to Claim His First-Ever ATP Title

It’s a memorable first for Pablo Cuevas

The 28-year-old Uruguayan tenista took down Portugal’s João Sousa in the Swedish Open final on Sunday at the Bastad Tennis Stadium to claim his first ATP tournament title.

Pablo Cuevas

Cuevas, who beat sixth-seeded Jérémy Chardy and third-seeded Fernando Verdasco en route to the final, defeated the fifth-seeded Sousa in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

Cuevas, who has fought a serious knee injury for the past three years, was ranked No. 111 going into the tournament.

He’ll now move up to No. 61 in the ATP rankings following his stellar performance at the Swedish Open, losing only one set in five matches.

Berlocq Defeats David Ferrer to Reach Swedish Open Semifinals

Carlos Berlocq has taken down the No. 1 seed…

The 31-year-old Argentine tenista and defending champion upset top-seeded David Ferrer in a 6-3, 6-3 victory at the Swedish Open quarterfinals on Friday.

Carlos Berlocq

Berlocq, the seventh-seed who happened to win his first ATP world tour at this tournament in Bastad last year, defeated Ferrer in 85 minutes.

Third-seeded Fernando Verdasco reached the semifinals with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.

On Saturday, the 30-year-old Verdasco faces 111th-ranked Pablo Cuevasof Uruguay, who beat Reno Olivo of Argentina 6-2, 6-4.

In the other semifinal, Berlocq faces fifth-seeded Joao Sousa of Portugal, who ousted Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 6-4.

García-López Reaches St. Petersburg Open Final

Guillermo García-López is one step closer to a third ATP title…

The 30-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Joao Sousa of Portugal 6-1, 6-1 to reach the finals at the St. Petersburg Open.

Guillermo García-López

Garcia-Lopez, currently ranked No. 74 in the world, won six consecutive games in the first set and broke his opponent twice in the second before sealing the win on his second match point.

Garcia-Lopez, who was runner-up in Bucharest and Rome in April, is looking for his third career title.

He last won in 2010 in Bangkok.

Garcia-Lopez faces sixth-seeded Ernests Gulbis in the final.