Carlos Alcaraz managed to overcome Alex Molcan in straight sets in Hamburg but afterward insisted the 48th-ranked Slovak was a difficult opponent to handle.
Alcaraz, the top seeded player in the Hamburg main draw, beat Molcan 7-6 (2) 6-1 to reach the final at the tournament.
Alcaraz twice blew a break in the first set as Molcan saved two set points in the 10th game and managed to force a tie-break.
After blowing two breaks and two set points, Alcaraz found his focus late in the first set as he dominated the tie-break to win a tight opener.
After winning a tight first set, Alcaraz broke Molcan three times in the second set to complete a straight-set win.
“It was tough,” Alcaraz said post-match, per the ATP website. “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.”
Alcaraz overcomes the frustration to set up a Lorenzo Musetti final
“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.”
Alcaraz is now set to battle Musetti for the Hamburg title.
“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.”
Alcaraz and Musetti are set to meet for the first time on the ATP Tour.
Alcaraz and Musetti did meet once but it came on the Challenger Tour in 2020.
In 2020, Alcaraz beat Musetti at the Trieste Challenger.
It remains to be seen if Alcaraz can beat Musetti in the Hamburg final and lift his fifth title of the year.