ATP Madrid: Stefanos Tsitsipas overpowers Sebastian Baez


Former Madrid Masters finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is through into the last 16 in Caja Magica. Stefanos toppled Sebastian Baez 7-5, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 12 minutes, making a fresh start in the decider and overpowering the rival with a single break. Tsitsipas claimed one point more than Baez and faced six break points after struggling on the second serve. The Greek fended off four out of six break points and stole the rival’s serve three times to emerge at the top. Sebastian fired 23 winners and 22 unforced errors, taking advantage of the rival’s 45 unforced errors but missing a chance to prolong the duel in the final set’s closing stages. The Argentine led 5-3 in the opener and had a set point before dropping four straight games. He recovered in the second set but fell in the decider after that one loose service game. Tsitsipas had the upper hand in the shortest range up to four strokes, and Baez erased the deficit in the mid-range and most extended ones.

Stefanos Tsitsipas worked hard to beat Sebastian Baez in Madrid.

Sebastian made a reliable start and produced four comfortable holds to keep the pressure on the other side. Stefanos netted a volley at the net in the eighth game to lose serve and fall 5-3 behind. Tsitsipas squandered three break points in the ninth game before Baez created a set point with a forehand winner. The Argentine wasted it after a loose forehand and got broken after another. The Greek locked the result at 5-5 with a forehand down the line winner and created a break chance in the next one after the rival’s wayward forehand. Stefanos landed a forehand winner to grab a break and open a 6-5 gap.

The better-ranked player served for the set in game 12 and held with an ace to rattle off four straight games and claim the opener 7-5 after 50 minutes. Sebastian denied two break points at the start of the second set and stole Stefanos’ serve in the next one after the Greek’s loose drop shot for a 2-0 advantage. The Argentine served for the set at 5-3 and held at 15 with an unreturned serve to introduce a decider after an hour and 32 minutes. There was nothing to separate them at the start of the final set, with seven comfortable holds. The Greek stepped in on the return in the eighth game and forced the rival’s mistake to deliver a crucial break and open a 5-3 gap. Stefanos served for the victory in game nine and faced two break points. He denied them and fired a service winner on the second match point to move over the top and advance into the last 16.

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