Baez To Challenge Cerundolo For Nordea Open Title

Sebastian Baez (photo: Brigitte Urban)


Two Argentines will go head-to-head in Sunday’s Nordea Open championship match, as Francisco Cerundolo will challenge No. 8 seed Sebastian Baez for the Bastad title.

Cerundolo defeated fifth favourite Pablo Carreno Busta from Spain 6-3, 6-2. The World No. 39 broke his rival’s serve four times to advance in one hour and 16 minutes.

“I think I played one of the best matches in my career today,” said Cerundolo in his on-court interview. “Everything went well. I am feeling so comfortable and playing with so much confidence that it’s amazing to be playing like this. Hopefully I can keep going and maintain my level or improve it.

“It’s fantastic [to be in another final]. Last year I was in the final at home in Buenos Aires and I lost pretty badly, so I hope tomorrow I can have a better match and hopefully take my first title home.”

Later in the afternoon, Baez knocked out second-seeded Russian Andrey Rublev 6-2, 6-4. The World No. 34 won 69 per cent of his first-service points and 58 per cent of the total points played to succeed after one hour and 15 minutes.

“I think I played better than yesterday,” said Baez, referring to his hard-fought three-set quarterfinal victory over Dominic Thiem on Friday. “I am happy to win and continue in the tournament.”

Baez leads his head-to-head record with Cerundolo 2-1 from three meetings on the ITF Pro Circuit and the ATP Challenger Tour.

“I think it will be a tough match, because we have known each other for many years,” said Baez. “But I have to do the best I can. This is a new tournament, a new final, another week. So, I am happy to stay in the final and of course, I want more.”

Baez is seeking his second ATP Tour career crown following his maiden triumph in Estoril at the beginning of May. Cerundolo could lift his first tour-level trophy.