Alcaraz closes the year in the “best possible way” with the victory of the Next Gen ATP Finals

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Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz poses with his trophy after winning against American Sebastian Korda during their final match at the Next Generation ATP Finals tournament at the Allianz Cloud stadium in Milan on November 13, 2021. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP)

Carlos Alcaraz became the first Spaniard to win the Next Gen ATP Finals on Saturday when the 18-year-old beat American Sebastian Korda 4-3 (5) 4-2 4-2 in Milan to cap a memorable breakthrough season.

With the “First-to-4” format in place, seeded Alcaraz took just 82 minutes to seal his second title of the season. He saved all six break points he faced during the break twice and shot 15 winners over 21-year-old Korda.

Alcaraz, who entered the top 50 this year, also became the youngest player to finish a year with 32 tour-level wins since Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev achieved that feat in 1992 at the age of 18. .

“I feel great. It’s nice to end the year in the best possible way, winning this title, playing great games against great players. It’s the best way to end the year, “Alcaraz told reporters.

“(My coach) Juan Carlos (Ferrero) tells me that in the best moments, in the difficult moments you have to play aggressive, you have to try, and that’s what I did.

“I’m working on it, to be calm in difficult times. This is the key to winning the difficult points, the difficult moments “.

The tournament for players aged 21 and under has different rules in place, such as pitchside coaching which, according to Alcaraz, should also be featured on the ATP Tour.

However, he wasn’t a fan of the shorter warm-up periods, reduced to just one minute.

“You don’t have time to warm up. I would say for the player, you can’t warm up everything, every shot – the volley, the serve, the backhand, the forehand – at all.

“I would say you have to warm up for four minutes … to start the game in the best possible way.”

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