On a day of firsts, Carlos Alcaraz secured his place in a maiden ATP Masters 1000 final following a 7-6(5), 7-6(2) win over defending champion Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals of the Miami Open.
Earlier in the day, Casper Ruud came through against Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets to book his place in a first Masters 1000 final - and it will be a new name on the trophy following Alcaraz’s gritty win.
In a match that did not see a break of serve, Alcaraz held his nerve in the two tiebreaks to put himself one win away from being the youngest player to win the event in its 37-year history.
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Speaking following the win, the 18-year-old Alcaraz said: “I have a lot of emotions right now. It's something that you dream of when you are a child.
"It's really good to be in the final here in Miami. I love playing here. The crowd is amazing."
'I love playing here' - Alcaraz on the crowd after reaching first Masters 1000 final
The final will be a big occasion for Alcaraz but he will attempt to trick his mind into thinking it is a normal day at work.
"I'm going to approach the final like a first round, trying to mask the nerves," he said. "I'm going to enjoy it, it's going to be a great final."
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While fiercely contested, the match was played in excellent spirit and Alcaraz showed tremendous sportsmanship to concede a point when serving at 5-6 following an incorrect call of “not up” from the umpire.
Despite the disappointment of missing out on the chance to defend the title, Hurkacz was full of praise for his teenage opponent.
“He's playing insane for his age," Hurkacz said. "It's really incredible how he plays, how he competes.
“He has an amazing career in front of him. It's crazy how good he plays."
'I want to win a Grand Slam' - Alcaraz sets targets after Miami Open win
Alcaraz beats Ruud to win first ever Masters title at Miami Open
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