Argentina's Baez downs Lehecka to win ATP Winston-Salem Open
August 27, 2023 10:11 AM
Argentina's Sebastian Baez won his first ATP hard court title with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Czech Jiri Lehecka in the final of the Winston-Salem Open on Saturday.
The tournament victory was the third this year for the 22-year-old following his wins on clay at the Austrian Open earlier this month and the Cordoba Open in his homeland in February.
Baez was 3-1 down in the first set but won three straight games to take control.
Lehecka, playing in his first ATP final, broke Baez's first service game of the second set, but the Argentine immediately broke back and never looked in danger from that point.
It was an impressive performance from Baez who had played late on Friday in a gruelling 3 hours, 20 minute three-set battle against top-seed Croatian Borna Coric, while Lehecka had a walkover after Sebastian Korda withdrew with injury.
Baez struck 28 winners and saved five of seven break points and the win means he moves up 10 places in the world rankings to 32nd ahead of next week's US Open.
Baez also becomes the first Argentine since Juan Martin del Potro to win three titles in the same season.
The victory was the perfect preparation for Baez's US Open first-round match, which will pit him against Coric again.