(London) Spanish prodigy Carlos Alcaraz qualified for the first grass final of his career by logically dominating American Sebastian Korda, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday at the Queen’s ATP 500 tournament.
On Sunday, if he wins against the Australian Alex de Minaur (N.18 at the ATP), Alcaraz will also regain the place of world number one at the expense of the Serbian Novak Djokovic.
Even if his favorite surface remains clay, the Murcian has shown dazzling progress on grass, and is advancing as a favorite at Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam of the season which begins in a week.
In the Queen’s semi-final on Saturday, while the first set was a bit scrappy with 13 break points in total, Carlos Alcaraz was the strongest in that game by converting two out of eight chances against one out of five for 22-year-old Korda and current 32nd in the world.
In the second set, the 20-year-old Spaniard’s devastating power, especially in the forehand, allowed him to dominate the proceedings.
He seized the opposing face-off at the first opportunity to lead 2-1 and then no longer be worried, concluding in 1:23 on his second match point.
Previously, Holger Rune, 6th player in the world, lost in straight sets against Alex de Minaur, 6-3, 7-6 (7/2).
The Dane, who had just scored his first three victories on grass, however confirmed that he too was on the way to taming this surface.
He was picked cold with a shutout break in his first commitment by de Minaur, much more experienced on grass.
Ruthless on his serve, the Australian finished the set by converting his second break point of the match, at 6-3, in 35 minutes.
The second set was more tense, with Rune regretting not having converted the three break points he created for himself, in the first and 11th games.
But the Dane also saved three in game 8, earning himself a tiebreaker where he appeared to suffer a sore leg from 5-2 against him, only to lose almost unplayed both following points.