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Tennis: Sebastian Baez topples Francisco Cerundolo to enter final in Rio

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Tennis: Sebastian Baez topples Francisco Cerundolo to enter final in Rio

Argentine Sebastian Baez secured a spot in the Rio Open final by defeating Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets. Baez faced three set points at 4-5 in the first set but dominated the rest of the match, winning 7-5, 6-0. He will face Mariano Navone in the final.

In his first semi-final above ATP 250 level, Baez’s nine-game streak led him to victory. Despite saving six break points, he converted four of his seven break chances. Cerundolo struggled with 39 unforced errors, but will return to the Top 20 in the ATP Rankings on Monday.

Baez’s win propels him up seven spots to No. 23 in the ATP Live Rankings. He has a chance to reach a career-high ranking of No. 21 if he wins the Rio Open title. In the other semi-final, Mariano Navone defeated Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the final.

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Navone, a 22-year-old qualifier, pulled off a significant upset by beating the second seed and defending champion. By defeating his first Top 50 opponent, Navone became the first qualifier to reach an ATP 500 final since 2022. The final between Baez and Navone promises to be a thrilling match to watch.

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