Carlos Alcaraz ensures the Hamburg Open gets an all NextGen final

Carlos Alcaraz

At the Hamburg European Open on Saturday, Carlos Alcaraz overcame a tough test from Alex Molcan to advance to yet another ATP 500 championship final.

He will contest the final in Hamburg against fellow ATP NextGen player Lorenzo Musetti.

The Spaniard has ensured he will climb up to No 5 in the ATP Rankings with the possibility of moving up to No 4 should he win the tournament after he claimed a 7-6(2), 6-1.

Regardless of the outcome of that final, Alcaraz is poised to crack the Top 5 of the ATP Rankings for the first time.

“It was tough,” Alcaraz said post-match. “Obviously he played really well. The first set was really close. I’m really happy to be able to end the first set playing well.

“In the second set, I think he was down a little bit. He didn’t play well in the second set. I finished the match with a lot of confidence and played very well.”

Carlos Alcaraz in action
Carlos Alcaraz

Alcaraz admitted he wasn’t reading Molcan’s drop shots but backed himself to play aggressive tennis.

“I couldn’t read the drop shots from him,” Alcaraz added. “He was better on the drop shots today, so I was a little bit [frustrated] in the first set.”

The Spaniard can now look forward to trying to improve upon his 5-0 record, which includes a perfect 4-0 season, in finals at ATP tour level. With a win over Musetti, he would overtake Rafael Nadal in the race for the most titles on the ATP Tour in 2022.

Alcaraz anticipates a hard-fought final against fellow young gun Musetti.

“Lorenzo is playing really well,” Alcaraz previewed. “Of course he’s a great player. It’s going to be a great final. He has played great matches before the final. [I have] as well, so I have a lot of confidence for the final and hope to make it six-for-six.”

WATCH: Lorenzo Musetti tries an underarm serve on match point

Musetti powered into the final with a 6-3, 7-6 victory over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo.

It will be the Italian’s first tour level final.

“It means a lot for me,” Musetti said. “It’s a surprise for me because I was not playing my best tennis last week [in Bastad], so I didn’t expect to be in the final here.”