Winston-Salem Open: Fatigue no issue as Baez wins back-to-back titles

Sebastian Baez has won his second title in as many weeks, defeating Jiri Lehecka in straight sets to claim the Winston-Salem Open

Sebastian Baez at Winston-Salem Open 2023 Sebastian Baez at Winston-Salem Open 2023
Winston-Salem Open •Final • completed
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Argentinian Sebastian Baez, the No 6 seed, won the Winston-Salem Open trophy by defeating No 5 seed Jiri Lehecka 6-4, 6-3 at Wake Forest Tennis Complex on Saturday evening.

With the pair having had contrasting paths to this final, as Baez was forced to play three hours and 19 minutes last night, while Lehecka had the day off, this match couldn’t have unfolded in a more surprising manner.

It was Baez who looked full of energy, running his opponent around the court as he struck 28 winners and saved five of seven break points. The Argentinian was clutch on serve also, making 71 percent of first serves across the match and winning those points 74 percent of the time.

Clinical Baez sees off Lehecka in straight sets

After Lehecka draw first blood in the fourth game of the first set, it was all Baez as the world No 42 broke back immediately.

The Argentinian then held, and broke again, forcing Lehecka to serve to stay in the first set. The Croatian did what was required of him, but Baez put the set to bed when asked to serve for the opener at 5-4.

In the second, Lehecka again looked like he was going to make a match of it, racing out to a 2-0 lead. However, the Croatian was unable to consolidate his break, with Baez once more breaking straight back – his first of three in the second set.

For a match that promised to test Baez physically, the Argentinian was lifting the trophy within an hour and a half, his second in two weeks.

Earlier in the Winston-Salem Open

Baez, ranked No 42, beat Colombian Daniel Elahi Galan (3-6, 6-4, 6-4), Australian Aleksandar Vukic, the No 9 seed (6-4, 4-6, 6-4), Serb Laslo Djere, the No 4 seed (6-3, 6-0) and Croat Borna Coric, the top seed (6-3, 6-7 (4), 7-6 (2)) in the previous rounds of the Winston-Salem tournament.

Earlier in the tournament, Lehecka, ranked No 35, beat American qualifier Mitchell Krueger (2-6, 6-2, 6-3), German Dominik Koepfer (6-3, 3-6, 6-4), Australian Max Purcell (7-6 (4), 6-4) and American Sebastian Korda, the No 3 seed (W/O).

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