Alcaraz ends the year in the ‘best possible way’ with victory at the Next Gen ATP Finals.
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 off a memorable season.
In the “First to 4” format, top seed Alcaraz needed just 82 minutes to seal his second title of the season. He saved all six break points he faced by breaking twice and shooting 15 winners at the 21-year-old Korda.
Alcaraz, who rose to the top 50 in the rankings this year, also became the youngest player to finish a year with 32 Tour wins since Ukrainian Andrei Medvedev accomplished that feat in 1992 when he was 18 years old.
“I feel incredible. It is quite good to finish the year in the best possible way, winning this title, playing great games against great players. It is the best way to end the year,” Alcaraz told reporters.
“(My coach) Juan Carlos (Ferrero) tells me that in the best of cases, in difficult moments you have to play aggressive, you have to go for it, and that’s what I did.
“I’m working on that, to be calm in the difficult moments. That is the key to win the difficult points, the difficult moments.”
The tournament for players under 21 has different rules, such as on-court training, which Alcaraz said should also be on the ATP Tour.
However, he was not a fan of the shorter warm-up periods, which were shortened 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 that you have to warm up for four minutes … to start the game in the best possible way.”