Alcaraz enters the top 5 by reaching the final in Hamburg

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Spanish tennis star Carlos Alcaraz (AFP)

Pierre-Philippe MARCOU / AFP

Carlos Alcaraz will become the youngest player to reach the top five in the ATP rankings since Rafael Nadal in 2005 after playing in his fifth ATP Finals of the season in Hamburg on Saturday.

The 19-year-old Spaniard won 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 over Slovak Alex Molcan and will face Lorenzo Musetti in Sunday’s clay-court final.

Alcaraz have won their previous five Tour finals, including Masters triumphs in Miami and Madrid earlier this year.

READ | Alcaraz close in on fifth title of 2022 in Hamburg

“Lorenzo is playing very well,” Alcaraz said. “Of course he is a great player. It will be a great final.

“He played great games before the final. (I) too, so I have a lot of confidence for the final and hope to make it six against six.”

He will edge Casper Ruud, who reached the Gstaad final on Saturday, in the updated rankings to be released on Monday.

Alcaraz struggled to pull away from Molcan in the first set, being broken on serve for the match at 5-3.

But he eventually wrapped up his fifth set point in a tie-break and raced through the second set.

Earlier, Italian Musetti reached his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) win over Francisco Cerundolo.

“It means a lot to me,” said the 20-year-old.

“It’s a surprise for me because I wasn’t playing my best tennis last week (in Bastad) so I didn’t expect to be in the final here.”

The world number 62 dominated the majority of the game but missed a match point as he led 5-4 in the second set when an underarm serve backfired.

Musetti regrouped to win in a tie-break, beating an in-form Cerundolo who won the title from Bastad last week.

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