Carlos Alcaraz Advances to Final at This Year’s Next Gen ATP Finals

Carlos Alcaraz is one win away from proving he’s nex-gen ready…

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis player defeated Argentina’s Sebastian Baez on Friday to reach the final round at the Next Gen ATP Finals.

Carlos Alcaraz Alcaraz dominated from the start in semifinal to win 4-2, 4-1, 4-2 in just 62 minutes.

The only time Alcaraz appeared to struggle was in the penultimate game of the match, when he faced three break points. But he responded with three serves of speeds over 133 mph – including two aces.

He’ll next face American Sebatian Korda, who beat compatriot Brandon Nakashima in five sets on Friday to become the first American to reach the final at the Next Gen ATP Finals.

Both Korda and Alcaraz won all three of their matches in the round-robin group stage.

It is the fourth edition of the tournament in Milan for the top 21-and-under players on the ATP Tour. It was canceled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP Finals will also be in Italy, in Turin next week.

There are different rules at the Next Gen tournament, including on-court coaching, no-Ad scoring, medical timeout limits, and Hawk-Eye making all the line calls.

The most drastic change is the shorter first-to-four set, with a tiebreaker at 3-3.

Carlos Alcaraz Wins Opening Match at Next Gen Finals

Carlos Alcaraz is still the man to beat…

The 18-year-old Spanish tennis phenom, the tournament favorite, took just 75 minutes to beat Holger Rune of Denmark 4-3 (6) 4-2 4-0, seeing out the group match with a crosscourt volley to take the final game and set to love at the Next Gen Finals on Tuesday.

Carlos AlcarazAlcaraz has moved more than 100 places up the rankings this season to No. 32 and reached the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

Earlier, Brandon Nakashima  took less than 90 minutes to beat Francisco Cerúndolo of Argentina 4-1 3-4 (3) 4-1 4-0.

All four players are in Group A of the eight-man tournament, which has a round-robin format. The top two in both groups qualify for Friday’s semifinals. The final is on Saturday.

In Group B, Sebastian Korda of the U.S. plays Hugo Gaston of France in the first match of the evening session, followed by home favorite Lorenzo Musetti against Sebastian Baez of Argentina.

It is the fourth edition of the tournament in Milan for the top 21-and-under players on the ATP Tour. The tournament was cancelled last year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The ATP Finals will also be in Italy, in Turin next week.

There are different rules at the Next Gen Finals, including on-court coaching, no-Ad scoring, medical timeout limits, and Hawk-Eye making all the line calls.

The most drastic change is the shorter set, where the first to four games takes the set, with a tiebreak at 3-3.

This year there are also shorter warm-ups, ensuring matches begin just one minute after the players enter the court, while bathroom breaks are timed to three minutes.