Sebastian Baez defeated Mariano Navone in straight sets to win the Rio Open.

Qualifer Navone was in his first ATP Tour final after he beat British No 1, and reigning Rio Open champion, Cameron Norrie in their semi-final.

But Baez dispatched him ruthlessly, winning 6-2 6-1.

Mariano Navone prepares to hit a return shot against Sebastian Baez, both of Argentina, during the final match of the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)
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Navone only enjoyed sporadic patches of success in the match (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

Baez held serve in the first game of the match and then immediately broke Navone in the next game to get himself off to a healthy start.

He pinned Navone down with strong backhands across the court, waiting for his opponent to miscue a return.

Errors continued to flow from Navone. Baez had him under pressure in the fourth game, sweeping a forehand past him after an intense rally to get a break point. He converted to swiftly take a 4-0 lead in the set.

Racing from side to side, Baez kept finding returns. But Navone eventually managed to fight his way to advantage in the fifth game. He took a break of his own to get into the match when Baez blasted a backhand into the net.

Sebastian Baez returns the ball to Mariano Navone, both of Argentina, during the final match of the Rio Open tennis tournament in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024. (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)
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Baez sends a powerful return back at Navone (AP Photo/Bruna Prado)

Navone constructed points well to win his second game in a row.

However Baez reasserted his control and did not let Navone win another game as he secured the first set.

Navone mis-hit once again to give a break point to Baez in his first service game of the second set. He managed to defend that but persistent as ever Baez forced an advantage his way and took a break when Navone lofted the ball into the net.

Navone had to save four break points in the fourth game but even then Baez would not let him off the hook, going two breaks up to take control of the second set.

Navone managed to win his first game of the second set with a break of Baez’s serve. But Baez broke back immediately. That set him up to serve for the championship. He did just that, not allowing Navone to win a point in the final game as he took the Rio Open title.

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