Sebastián Báez, Chile Open’s champion and top-ranked South American: “To those who don’t support me”

Sebastian Baez
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SANTIAGO, Chile – Sebastián Báez put his palms together and apologized to the crowd on center court Jaime Fillol at the Chile Open. The Argentinean won his sixth ATP title at the age of 23, beating the local favourite in Santiago de Chile. He closed a South American tour in brilliant fashion.

“Dedicated to the people who support me, and also to those who don’t, who are the ones who give me the strength to continue”, said Baez after the victory over Chilean Alejandro Tabilo in the final 3-6, 6-0, 6-4. Tabilo, who won the doubles title with his friend Tomás Barrios, very late the night before, looked physically weak after the first set.

The Argentine confirmed how well he likes the clay tournaments in February: thanks to nine wins in a row and two titles in Rio de Janeiro and Santiago, Baez will be the best South American, the 19th in the world, and the fifth in the race to Turin.

“The apologies were for the people, who were expecting the local player to win,” said Baez, who received the trophy of six triangular copper sheets imitating the Andes Mountains from Javier Frana. The former world 30 was the first champion of the Chile Open, and current assistant coach in Baez’s team.

The crowns in Brazil and Chile put him alongside Jannik Sinner and Ugo Humbert as the only tennis players to have won multiple titles in 2024. Thus, his big challenge to keep climbing the rankings will be the Grand Slams, where he has never been able to get past the third round.

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“Obviously tournaments like the Masters 1000 or the Grand Slams are very good challenges to be able to continue to do better. The level of the top ten? Tenniswise is about details. I think it’s all very even. We see many of the top ten, sometimes they play 250 or 500 tournaments and you see them losing, so that shows that it is possible. I am very excited about everything that is coming up this year”, commented the Chile Open 2024 champion.

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