ATP Next Gen stars Holger Rune and Sebastian Baez secure twin maiden tour titles
Holger Rune and Sebastian Baez have respectively won the Munich Open and the Estoril Open as their maiden ATP tour level titles.
Munich was guaranteed a maiden ATP tour champion as Rune, 19, faced Botic van de Zandschulp for the title.
Meanwhile, Estoril saw 2018 finalist Frances Tiafoe take on Baez, 21.
Both finals were short affairs, but for different reasons.
After seven games and with van de Zandschulp up 4-3 in the opening set, the 26-year-old Dutchman appeared to begin to struggle with his breathing and was forced to retire, handing Rune a 4-3 ret. victory.
Later in the afternoon, Baez faced Tiafoe in what looked like it could be a marathon after the American went the distance in all four of his matches to reach the final.
But the Argentine made short work of the fifth seed, ousting him 6-3, 6-2 in under 80 minutes on court.
The result means both youngsters achieve new career-high rankings and both break the top 50 for the first time.
Rune has risen from 70th to 45th in the ATP rankings while Baez has jumped from 59th to 40th in the world.
Both Baez and Rune played in last year’s ATP Next Gen Finals, the fourth edition of the year-end under-21 exhibition event.
While Baez reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Carlos Alcaraz, Rune did not make it out of his round robin group.
However, though Baez will not be eligible to play the 2022 event as he turns 22 this year, Rune will be.
The Dane is now third in the Race to Milan, the points race to qualify for the event, only trailing world number 12 Jannik Sinner and world number nine Alcaraz.
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