Diaz and Soares Klier Junior excel on day of shocks
There were two major shocks at the Buenos Aires Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday 10 October, as the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 men’s singles tennis competition reached the quarter-final stage.
The bigger of the two came when Argentina’s Facundo Diaz beat junior world No1 Chun Hsin Tseng of Chinese Taipei in straight sets. The day’s other surprise casualty was home favourite Sebastian Baez, who suffered a straight-sets defeat to Brazil’s Gilbert Soares Klier Junior.
Diaz saw off the reigning French Open and Wimbledon boys singles champion 6-2 6-4 in just over an hour, a result he had every reason to be pleased about: “The fact is I’m very happy, but I can’t rest on my laurels. I’ve got to stay focused on the tournament and see this as just another victory.”
Though aware he was not expected to beat Tseng, Diaz maintained that a semi-final place was always his objective. Proud to represent his country, he added: “It’s amazing, especially here at home with all this support.” Waiting for the Argentinian in the semis on Thursday 11 October will be Bulgaria’s Adrian Andreev, who beat Romania’s Filip Cristian Jianu 6-2 6-4.
Diaz’s compatriot Baez, the world No2, had no answer to Soares Klier Junior, who belied his lower world ranking of seventh to win 6-4 6-4. Expressing his satisfaction, the Brazilian said: “It’s always tough to play Sebastian and even more so here because he’s got the fans on his side. I held firm, though, and things worked out for me.”
Soares Klier Junior’s opponent in the last four is France’s Hugo Gaston, a 6-4 6-1 winner over Daniel Michalski of Poland.
Baez bounced back quickly from his singles reverse, pairing up with Diaz to beat China’s Mu Tao and Japan’s Tajima Naoki 6-0 6-1 in the men’s doubles quarter-finals.