Carlos Alcaraz will head into the semi-finals at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals in fine form after he captured his third consecutive round-robin win Thursday to top Group A with a 3-0 record.
The 18-year-old, who secured his qualification for the last four on Wednesday when he downed Brandon Nakashima, overcame Argentine Juan Manuel Cerundolo 4-0, 4-1, 2-4, 4-3(3) after 84 minutes in Milan.
In their first ATP Head2Head meeting, Alcaraz overpowered the World No. 91 from the baseline with his deep, heavy-hitting and saved nine of the 10 break points he faced to secure victory. With his triumph, Alcaraz is the youngest player to earn 30 tour-level wins in a season since Rafael Nadal, 18, went 30-17 in 2004.
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Under the watchful eye of coach Juan Carlos Ferrero, Alcaraz has dropped just one set at the 21-and-under event as he continues to live up to his top seed status in Italy. The former World No. 1 has been instructing his protégé to great effect courtside throughout the event, with on-court coaching allowed at the Intesa Sanpaolo Next Gen ATP Finals.
The recent Vienna semi-finalist will be joined by either Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune or Nakashima in the last four, with both holding 1-1 Group A records going into their match later on Wednesday.
Cordoba champion Cerundolo was already out of the tournament before his match against Alcaraz after losing his first two round-robin matches. But the World No. 91 demonstrated what he was capable off by taking a set off the Spaniard at the Allianz Cloud.