HAMBURG (AFP) - Carlos Alcaraz will become the youngest player to reach the top five of the ATP rankings since Rafael Nadal in 2005 after powering into his fifth ATP final of the season in Hamburg on Saturday (July 23).
The 19-year-old Spaniard eased to a 7-6 (7/2), 6-1 success against Slovakian Alex Molcan and will face Lorenzo Musetti in Sunday's final at the clay-court event.
Alcaraz has won all five of his previous Tour finals, including Masters triumphs in Miami and Madrid earlier this year.
"Lorenzo is playing really well," Alcaraz said.
"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."
He will pass Casper Ruud, who reached the Gstaad final on Saturday, in the updated rankings which will be released on Monday.
Alcaraz struggled to pull away from Molcan in the first set, being broken when serving for the match at 5-3.
But he eventually wrapped it up on his fifth set point in a tie-break and raced through the second set.
Earlier, Italy's Musetti reached his first ATP Tour final with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/3) victory over Francisco Cerundolo.
"It means a lot for me," the 20-year-old said.
"It's a surprise for me because I was not playing my best tennis last week (in Bastad), so I didn't expect to be in the final here."
The world number 62 dominated the majority of the match but missed a match point when leading 5-4 in the second set when an underarm serve backfired.
Musetti regrouped though to win in a tie-break, beating an in-form Cerundolo who won the Bastad title last week.