Sixth seed Sebastian Baez of Argentina beat top seed Borna Coric of Croatia 6-3 6-7 7-6 in the semifinal of the Winston-Salem Open last Friday, August 25.
The 22-year-old Argentine continued his great run into the tournament and will face fifth seed Jiri Lehecka of Czech Republic in the final on Saturday.
On that note, let us take a look at two things that stood out in the match between Baez and Coric:
#1. Baez dominated with his inside-in and inside-out forehand:
The diminutive Argentine dominated the proceedings with his inside-in and inside-out forehand from the baseline. His powerful forehand often pushed Coric well behind the baseline and he also succeeded in hitting through the Croat at times. His inside-out forehand repeatedly stretched Coric towards his left and his inside-in forehand proved to be too powerful for his opponent at times.
Coric made his presence felt by hitting his backhand really well in the last two sets, but Baez’s superior forehand gave him the edge. The diminutive Argentine made a great start by breaking the Croat in the very first game of the match and then went on to win the first set.
#2. Coric showed good net-skills, but his first serve let him down:
Coric often ventured forward into the net in the last two sets to demonstrate exceptional net-skills. Some of the half-volleys and drop volleys he hit were really exquisite. At times, Baez used his drop shot extensively to drag the Croat to the net, but the latter was equal to the task.
Coric came back from a break down to level the score and take the second set into a tie-break. The Croat then went on to win the tie-break and level the score. At one point in the second set, Coric looked down and out, but he showed exemplary grit and resolve to bounce back and restore parity.
The topsy-turvy battle continued in the final set, with the two players exchanging breaks and playing out a few really entertaining points. Once again, the set went into a tie-break that Baez won quite convincingly. It was a hard-earned victory for the Argentine in a match that could have gone either way.