Carlos Alcaraz and Sebastian Korda set up blockbuster final at Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals

(Tennis news) Carlos Alcaraz secured his third straight set victory in four matches at the Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals by beating Sebastian Baez in the semifinals. Alcaraz made sure the rallies did not go for long as most of them were under 9 shots as his service also reached a top speed of 216 km/ hour in the opening set. Alcaraz was always on the front foot against his opponent and did not lose his footing at any point of the match as Baez did not have opportunities to smack the ball.


In the fifth game of the final set, Baez pumped up the crowd with a physically exhausting rally where he played a brilliant lob over Alcaraz as the Spaniard acknowledged the shot as Baez asked the crowd to be even louder. Alcaraz defeated Baez 4-2, 4-1, 4-2.


“The final is going to be really, really tough,” Alcaraz said after defeating Argentine Sebastian Baez in Fridays’ semi-finals. “Sebastian is playing great tennis and I am really excited to play against him for the first time. It would be amazing to win the title, but I am going to be facing a really good opponent, so we will see.”


Sebastian Korda had to go through a five setter to make his way into the final as he beat Brandon Nakashima in the other semifinal. Korda had to battle some backhand beauties from Nakashima who had done the same in the previous match, the first needed a tie break as Korda raised his game in the final moments. In the next two sets, Nakashima’s backhand was causing constant trouble to Korda as he was down 2 sets to one but took the next one as the scores were tied and a decider was needed.


In the final set, Korda broke Nakashima’s serve in the fifth game with a cross court backhand winner giving him a taste of his own medicine. Korda served out the match with a backhand winner which hit the net cord and dropped just in front as Nakashima’s run came to an end. Korda defeated Nakashima 4-3(7-3), 2-4, 1-4, 4-2, 4-2.


“I've never practised with him, I've never played him in a match; it will be really exciting,” Korda said. “Hopefully we can have a lot of battles in the next coming years; he's playing some incredible tennis, really aggressive player and really strong mentally, so, yeah, it will be a new challenge and I'm really looking forward to it”.


It will be a battle of the top two seeds in tomorrow’s final. Alcaraz and Korda have so far been undefeated in the event as they have played four matches in total, Korda has dropped four sets so far while Alcaraz has dropped only one set. Alcaraz is also the higher ranked player and will be the favourite to take the title and both have 31 victories on the tour so far as the final will give on his 32nd victory. The winner can walk away with the trophy as there are no points awarded with the event but ending the year with a victory is certainly rewarding.


Also read: All four Semifinal spots booked at Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals


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