Argentina’s Sebastian Baez finally won his maiden ATP Tour title at the Millennium Estoril Open in Cascais, Portugal. He defeated American Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-2 in his most dominant performance of the tournament. But alongside this game, both these tennis players also share a special bond that makes this final very poetic.
Throughout the week, Baez has been writing “Why not me?” after each victory as a motivation message to himself to emerge as the winner. This quote was given to Baez by his coach Sebastian Gutierrez during his performance slump after February when he lost five-straight games.
Sebastian Baez's four camera lens signatures after his four successive wins to reach the ATP 250 Estoril final: pic.twitter.com/YUkepJLTkP
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) April 30, 2022
But surprisingly, Gutierrez also found this slogan on Frances Tiafoe’s wristband, with whom he fought the final of the tournament.
Watch his signing after the Estoril Open:
Yes, it’s you! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Vo4yrkpZzH
— Millennium #EstorilOpen (@EstorilOpen) May 1, 2022
“You were an inspiration for me this week,” Baez
In the post-match interview, Baez called Tiafoe his inspiration and said, “First I want to say congrats to Frances. You were an inspiration for me this week. You are a great player and a great man. I really hope you have a great career… Why not me, and why not you, man?”
Baez then talked about the game and was elated with his performance. He said, “I started so nervous. He started good, I think. After the third game, it was so important for both. I started to play better… The key was trying to be in the game every time, try to think what I had to do, and that’s the difference today.”
“I just want to thank you guys, honestly,” Tiafoe
Tiafoe also praised his counterpart and said, “Unbelievable job by Sebastian. He deserved it. He played better than me today. I just want to thank you guys, honestly. You guys made it an unbelievable week for me. I played some crazy, crazy matches and I hope you guys really enjoyed it.”
“I tried to give everything I had this week. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much today, but you guys were unbelievable. I hope I can come back for many years and we can keep putting a show on this court. It’s one of my favourite courts to play in,” he added.