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Alcaraz reaches the Queen's Club final to close in on reclaiming the top ranking

Carlos Alcaraz Carlos Alcaraz - The Canadian Press

LONDON (AP) — Carlos Alcaraz is starting to feel like a veteran on grass, despite playing in only the third tournament of his young career on the surface.

The 20-year-old Spaniard reached his first ATP final on grass and moved one win away from reclaiming the top ranking by taking out Sebastian Korda 6-3, 6-4 at the Queen’s Club Championships on Saturday.

“Right now I feel like I’m playing for 10 years on grass, it’s something crazy for me,” Alcaraz said. “I didn’t expect to adapt my movement, my game so fast on grass. I’m really happy with that.

“Since the first match, I feel the love from the crowd. I would say that it’s impossible to win these kind of matches without them, without the energy they bring to me.”

Alex de Minaur stands between Alcaraz and the trophy and No. 1 ranking.

Alcaraz is wary of him.

“It’s going to be a big challenge for me. His game is really good on grass,” Alcaraz said. “He serves so flat. He’s going to be very dangerous.”

Alcaraz and Korda played their first career semifinal on grass.

Korda, the first American to reach the Queen’s semifinals in 11 years, served nine aces but also double-faulted six times. His slice was regularly punished by Alcaraz’s heavy forehands.

Alcaraz won the only break point of the second set and held on.

Victory would give the U.S. Open champion his fifth title of the year, his 11th tour title overall and move the 20-year-old Spaniard above Novak Djokovic in the ATP rankings — meaning he would also enter Wimbledon next month as the No. 1 seed. Last year, Alcaraz lost in the fourth round to Jannik Sinner at Wimbledon.

The second-seeded Holger Rune also came to London never having won a tour-level match on grass, like Alcaraz.

De Minaur knocked out Rune 6-3, 7-6 (2), saving the three break points he faced and breaking the 20-year-old Dane's serve twice.

De Minaur has pedigree on grass. The Australian won Eastbourne in 2021 and reached the Wimbledon last 16 in 2022.

“I have played decent on grass and I am having a good week, and this was my best performance of the week,” he said.

De Minaur won the biggest title of his career — and his seventh — in February at Acapulco.


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