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This round 3 clash sees defending champion Taylor Fritz face the clay-court specialist and world number 35 Sebastian Baez.
These odds from Ladbrokes were correct at the time of writing.
Taylor Fritz vs Sebastian Baez – Match Predictions
Although we are expecting Baez to give a good account of himself we think Fritz will win comfortably. We believe that our tips for the match are very solid. Let’s take a closer look at them.
Total Games Under 20.5
Baez looked very solid in round 2 when he easily beat the lower-ranked Aussie Rinky Hijikata 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour. At the same time, Fritz began the defence of his title with a tricky clash against the big-serving Shelton. Fritz had to come from behind in this match before eventually winning the decisive set 6-3. He showed good skills though and once figuring out Shelton’s serve Fritz was dominating.
Against a player like Baez that doesn’t have the same powerful groundstrokes or big serve Fritz should domininate even easier. He already spent longer than wanted time on court in round 2, so we think Fritz will try and finish this coming match quickly and in straight sets. That’s why we believe there will be fewer than 21 games in total played.
Fritz Game Handicap -4.5
Fritz bettered a 9.5 handicap in the only previous meeting between the two, so we back the defending champions to easily beat a -4.5 handicap this time around. For Baez this will be the first match against a top 20 player this calendar year. He failed to better overcome a -4.5 handicap the last 5 times he faced a top 20 opponent.
Taylor Fritz vs Sebastian Baez Preview
Now a closer look at the two players’ individual results in recent months.
Fritz is having a decent year so far. He won the United Cup with American in January, won the Delray Beach title and also reached 2 other ATP semi-finals. All in all, solid returns for the world number 5.
Fritz also amassed 5 wins against top 30 players already this calendar year, so he is clearly playing some very good tennis.
Baez on the other hand has struggled on hard courts. He lost 3 round 1 matches in January, including at the Australian Open. All of those defeats against players outside the top 60. Baez then moved to his favourite surface clay and played 4 tournaments on it in South America. He won at Cordoba and reached another semi-final.
Now back on hard surface for the first time since January Baez can hardly feel very confident. Still, he won his first hard court match this year in round 2, so this is already a step forward for him.
Taylor Fritz vs Sebastian Baez Head to Head
The only previous meeting between the two was during last year’s Cincinnati ATP1000 again on hard courts and Fritz won easily 6-1, 6-1.
Taylor Fritz vs Sebastian Baez Match Details
- What is the scheduled start? The match won’t start before 22:30 GMT on Monday, March 13th.
- How can I watch it? The match will be streamed live on Amazon Prime for fans in the United Kingdom.
- Who is the bookies’ favourite for the upcoming match? The bookmakers favour heavily Taylor Fritz.