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ATP Rio de Janeiro Final Prediction: Sebastian Baez vs Mariano Navone

Sebastian Baez in action ahead of the ATP Santiago Open.

It’s an all-Argentinian final at the 2024 ATP Rio Open presented by Claro as Sebastian Baez takes on Mariano Navone. The 5th seed has never even made a final above the ATP 250 level before, while the qualifier was still looking for his first tour-level win at the beginning of the week. Who do you think will claim the title?

ATP Rio de Janeiro Final Prediction

Sebastian Baez vs Mariano Navone

Head-to-head: First meeting

Sebastian Baez has been very consistent during this Golden Swing, with a semifinal in Cordoba, a quarterfinal in Buenos Aires, and now a final in Rio de Janeiro. This is the first time he has gone this deep in an event above the ATP 250 level. Some of his performances this week have been very impressive (particularly against Facundo Diaz Acosta and Thiago Monteiro), but in the semifinals against Francisco Cerundolo, the bar wasn’t set too high from 4-5 and three set points down.

Mariano Navone lost in the opening round at both Cordoba and Buenos Aires. He was still looking for his first ATP main draw win by the time Rio de Janeiro started, and now he’s got four of them. A winner of five Challenger titles last year, the 22-year-old has now made the transition and will debut in the Top 100 (at least at No. 60, potentially even inside the Top 50 if he claims the trophy). It’s taken him a while to show that skillset on the main tour, but he’s there now and ready to rise.

Baez has had a lot more experience at these stages of ATP Tour events, but this is still pretty much the biggest match of his career. Navone will be in the rallies, and if he can force most of them to be played on his terms, with lots of creative angles and looking for opportunities to counter-punch, he’s good enough to stand a chance in this match. It will be a multi-dimensional baseline battle. Against someone who often lives and dies by the forehand like Baez, Navone might really get to play his game.

Prediction: Navone in 3

Main Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch – USA TODAY Sports


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