Korda and Alcaraz win, set up semifinal clash at Cinch Championships

(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images)
(Photo by Frey/TPN/Getty Images) /

The final two semifinal spots were booked at the Cinch Championships on Friday afternoon as Sebastian Korda and Carlos Alcaraz won their quarterfinal matches in straight sets. The two young stars will square off for a spot in the final.

Korda earned his final four spot by once again riding the strong serving that has helped him all week long. He took down the home hope and 5th seed, Cameron Norrie 6-4, 7-6 (1). The young American won 75 percent of his 1st serve points and 58 percent on his second serve.

Korda, at 6’5″, is not typically known for having an elite serve, but this week he has taken his serve to the next level. Time and time again when Norrie pushed, he would bomb a well-placed thunderbolt.

Sebastian Korda will face Carlos Alcaraz in anticipated semi at Cinch Championships

Early in the 2nd set, Korda broke the Brit for a 3-2 lead, before he played his worst service game of the match. Norrie smacked some strong forehands and rode the wave of momentum from the crowd to capture his only break of the match.

From that point on, Korda and Norrie battled all the way to a deciding tiebreak. However, that tiebreak was one way traffic for the American as he raced away, dropping only 1 point in the breaker.

In the main event of the day at the Queen’s Club, world No. 2 Carlos Alcaraz faced off against 3-time Grand Slam semifinalist, Grigor Dimitrov. Things did not start well for the 26th-ranked Bulgarian as he double-faulted twice in combination with a slew of errors to gift a break in the first game of the match to Alcaraz.

From there, both players lifted their game to match each other as the set moved along. Alcaraz was serving at 3-2 when the two became locked in a battle of wills. This game would last nearly 12 minutes as neither man was willing to budge.

The shot-making from both sides was on full display, as the Spaniards’ forehand was matched by Dimitrov’s superb backhand throughout. Alcaraz eked out the hold, and things went to form as the top seed took the first set, 6-4. He had one break point the whole set and made it count.

At this point, it looked like momentum would stay with Alcaraz and it would be a quick match. However, Dimitrov jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second set on the strength of his solid baseline work and errors creeping into his opponent’s game.

The world No. 26 was serving at 3-1, still in control of proceedings, before he capitulated with two double faults to let Alcaraz back in. With things back on serve, the scintillating Spaniard began imposing his will on the Bulgarian veteran. Dimitrov began to wilt as things sped away down the stretch.

There was a brief respite, in the 8th game as Dimitrov earned himself 2 break points. These were quickly erased by an ace-ace combination from Alcaraz. However, a third break chance saw Dimitrov even the set 4-4.

However, he was unable to maintain the momentum as his serve let him down once again. Multiple double faults and spraying his forehand doomed him as he was broken easily. Serving for the match, there was nothing left for Alcaraz to do but put the hammer down, which he did. He put the stamps on a not so by the book 6-4, 6-4 victory.

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It is the first grass-court semifinal of Alcaraz’s career as he continues to get comfortable with this surface. Korda should be in with a shout in their Semifinal clash, especially if he keeps serving the way he has been. For now, both men can put their feet up and celebrate tonight, before they turn their attention to earning a spot in the Final.