05 Mar 2018

Baez and Fernandez claim Porto Alegre titles

News Article

Photo: Gabriel Heusi/Heusi ActionSebastian Baez (ARG)

Sebastian Baez continued his strong start to the season by winning both the singles and doubles titles at the Porto Alegre Junior Championships – the second time he has achieved the feat in as many weeks.

The 17-year-old Argentine, who also won both singles and doubles crowns at the Grade 1 event in Criciuma, Brazil a week earlier – defeated No. 12 seed Nick Hardt, of Dominican Republic, 61 64 to take the boys’ singles crown at the Grade A event, before teaming with France’s Clement Tabur to win the doubles title after beating unseeded Americans William Grant and Tyler Zink 64 62.

Meanwhile, at the tender age of 15, Canada’s Leylah Annie Fernandez claimed the girls’ title, dropping just a solitary set en route to winning her first Grade A event with a 63 76(4) victory over Denmark’s Clara Tauson.

Fernandez, who had never previously contested a Grade A junior tournament, entered the event in Porto Alegre at No. 84 in the junior rankings but emerged with her third junior circuit title – adding to her back-to-back Grade 2 tournament wins in Israel in November.

While Fernandez took the headlines, the girls’ event was particularly notable for Ana Makatsaria’s performance in the quarterfinals, when the Georgian brought a surprise end to Maria Camila Osorio Serrano’s remarkable 24-match winning streak.

Previously unbeaten in 2018, Osorio Serrano, of Colombia, had won consecutive titles in San Jose (Costa Rica), Barranquilla (Colombia), Lambare (Paraguay) and Criciuma (Brazil) but was finally beaten in the last eight in Porto Alegre, going down 76(5) 64 to Makatsaria.

The girls’ doubles title was won by eighth-seeded pair Clara Tauson, who made amends for her runner-up finish in the girls’ singles, and Russia’s Anastasia Tikhonova, who overcame second seeds Mariam Dalakishvili and Ania Hertel 26 75 12-10 in a tense contest.