#NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda has reserved his place in this first TBEN final with a landslide victory over Cameron Norrie at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old saw two match points back and forth late in the second set as Norrie sank his heels in, but the American remained calm to close two games later to win 6-3, 7-5 after one hour and 22 minutes.
“I’m excited right now, couldn’t be happier,” Korda said during his interview on the pitch.
In his first clash against the Briton, world No.119 Korda looked as comfortable as a veteran as he kept pace with a player ranked 45 places higher. The American has revealed his team’s unique way of preparing for the delicate left-hander game.
“I warmed up with my coach, he hits the flattest ball possible, so it worked today,” Korda said. “[Norrie] has a super tricky game. His backhand is world class, and his forehand once he rolls it he’s tough to defend. I’m super happy with how I stayed aggressive and played the whole game.
It was Korda who won the opening break at 3-1 and set the tone for the game as he remained calm when Norrie resumed the break. The American leveled up and stayed on the run to chase anything Norrie sent him, ultimately claiming the decisive 5-3 serve break to close the first set.
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Korda got another early break at 3-2, but struggled in the second set as he served for his first place in an TBEN final. A provisional game at 5-4 gave Norrie the foot he needed to save two match points and level the score. But like in the first set, Korda didn’t panic and crossed the finish line two games later.
“At 5-4, two match points… he played a good point but then I threw a double fault,” admitted Korda. “But other than that, I played a really good game and I’m really happy with it.”
Korda will face fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz for the first time in the Delray Beach final. The Polish player beat qualifier Christian Harrison 7-6 (4), 6-4 earlier today to advance to his second TBEN final.
– ATP visit (@atptour) January 13, 2021