Baez Knocks Out Cerundolo At Santiago Challenger

Sebastian Baez (photo: Dove Men & Care Legion Sudamericana Santiago)

SANTIAGO/STARNBERG, October 16, 2021

The top two seeds of the Dove Men & Care Legión Sudamericana Challenger Santiago in Chile fell in the quarterfinals. Sebastian Baez knocked out fellow Argentine and No. 1 seed Juan Manuel Cerundolo 6-3, 6-4 at the Club Deportivo Palestino on Friday afternoon.

The No. 5 seed of the $52,080 clay-court tournament landed 82 per cent of his first serves and capitalized on six of his 14 break-point chances to secure victory in one hour and 54 minutes.

#NextGenATP star Baez, a winner of three ATP Challenger Tour titles this season and currently ranked on a career-high World No. 140, will next take on home favourite Tomas Barrios Vera. The sixth seed upset third favourite Juan Pablo Varillas from Peru 6-3, 6-4 after one hour and 27 minutes.

In the bottom half of the draw, Matheu Pucinelli de Almeida stunned No. 2 seed Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina 7-6(3), 2-6, 6-4. The unseeded Brazilian won two points less than his rival but prevailed after two hours and 38 minutes.

World No. 315 Pucinelli de Almeida will next face his compatriot Felipe Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, who outlasted Austrian veteran Gerald Melzer 6-3, 5-7, 7-5. The longest encounter of the day lasted three hours and eight minutes.

In Saturday’s doubles final, Mexicans Hans Hach Verdugo and Miguel Angel Reyes-Varela will oppose Evan King and Max Schnur from the United States.