Cordoba | Baez finally gets campaign off the ground

The defending champion of the Cordoba Open title in Argentina, had to play catch-up following inclement weather, and played two matches on Friday to reach this year’s semi-finals.

A first-round bye and a rain on Thursday meant that the second seeded Sebastian Baez could not start his defence of the title until Friday which no doubt accounted for his edginess against Bolivian Hugo Dellien requiring two-hours and 15-minutes to secure his 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

“It’s hard, but it’s something I can manage,” Baez said of his late start at the ATP 250 level event. “The rain, the weather is like this. I’m happy to take this match because it was so close and I’m happy to be in the next round.”

For Dellien it was the second time in within 12-months that he has been beaten at the semi-final stage by Baez at the event in Cordoba last year.

Baez then returned to court in the evening to face countryman Facundo Diaz Acosta, who had also earlier in he day, been kept on court for a lengthy period, nearly three hours to defeat another Argentine, Thiago Agustin Tirante 6-2 6-7(5) 6-2.

In their clash Baez proved the sharper and ran away with a 6-3 6-1 victory to close the day’s play.

“I felt better on the second one,” Baez said post-match. “Of course, the first round of the tournament always is difficult. But I’m happy to go from down to up.”

Baez’s semi-final opponent will be Argentine-born Italian Luciano Darderi, a qualifier who beat seventh seed Yannick Hanfmann 7-6(2) 6-1 in his first tour-level quarter-final.

Darderi was the only player to record a win on Thursday before rain halted play in Cordoba.

The other semi-final will be an all-Argentine affair between unseeded opponents Federico Coria, last year’s finalist, and Facundo Bagnis.

Coria upset third seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-3 6-4 for his third semi-final appearance in Cordoba equalling Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas for the most semi-final appearances in the tournament’s history.

Bagnis beat Jaume Munar 7-5 6-4 to advance to his third tour-level semi-final, having previously reached that stage in Cordoba in 2021. Aged 33 years and 11 months, he is the oldest Argentine ATP Tour semi-finalist since Carlos Berlocq, 34, in 2017 at Buenos Aires.



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