Báez could not with Alcaraz and was eliminated from the Next Gen Finals

The dream of Argentine Sebastián Báez in the Next Gen Finals hit this Friday before a reality called Carlos Alcaraz: the Spanish prodigy, one of the revelations of the tennis season, had no contempt and beat the Argentine youth 4-2, 4-1 and 4-2 to qualify for the final of the contest against the American Sebastian Korda. For Báez, the tournament was a great experience, as he played against the best players of his generation and achieved two wins to be among the four finalists.

Báez could do little in the face of Alcaraz, a player ranked 21st in the world rankings and the top favorite to win the contest that brings together the eight best U21 players on the circuit. The 18-year-old Spaniard dominated the game and broke the Argentine’s serve four times, in addition to having another five times throughout the match. In contrast, Báez only had three opportunities in a row when the Spaniard served 2-2 in the third quarter, but could not take advantage of any. And immediately afterwards, having overcome that pressing situation, Alcaraz made the break that gave him the victory in the first opportunity he had on the serve of the Argentine youth.

Beyond defeat, the week in Milan will mark a great experience for 20-year-old Báez, a native of the Buenos Aires city of San Martín and ranked 111th in the ATP ranking. In a tournament with great exposure, with televisions for much of the world and with many sponsors pending of the new emerging talents, he showed his evolution and added two very valuable triumphs. On his way to the semifinals he had defeated the French Hugo Gastón by 4-3 (7-2), 4-2 and 4-2 and the local Lorenzo Musetti by 4-1, 4-1, 3-4 (5-7 ), 4-3 (7-5), in addition to falling to Sebastian Korda, the other finalist on Saturday and Alcaraz’s rival in the fight for the title after a great game in which he won 4-3 (7-3) , 2-4, 1-4, 4-2 and 4-2 to his compatriot Brandon Nakashima in almost two hours of play.

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Báez thus closed a great season, which everything indicates that it may be his take-off on the circuit, with five Challenger titles and on the verge of getting into the Top 100, an achievement that would allow him to participate in all Grand Slam tournaments without need to dispute the classification. Juan Manuel Cerúndolo, the other Argentine who participated in the tournament, said goodbye with three defeats in as many presentations.


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