#NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda booked his spot in this first ATP Tour final with a commanding victory over Cameron Norrie at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old saw two match points come and go late in the second set as Norrie dug his heels in, but the American stayed calm to close it out two games later to win 6-3, 7-5 after an hour and 22 minutes.

“I’m fired up right now, I couldn’t be happier,” Korda said in his on-court interview.

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Coming into his first clash against the Brit, World No. 119 Korda looked as comfortable as a veteran as he kept pace with a player ranked 45 spots higher. The American revealed his team’s unique way of preparing for the lefty’s tricky game.

“I warmed up with my coach, he hits the flattest ball possible, so that worked out today,” Korda said. “[Norrie] has a super tricky game. His backhand cross is world class, and his forehand once he gets it rolling cross it’s hard to defend. I’m super happy with the way I stayed aggressive and played the whole match.”

It was Korda who claimed the opening break at 3-1, and set the tone for the match as he stayed calm when Norrie grabbed the break straight back. The American raised his level and stayed on the run to chase down everything Norrie sent his way, finally claiming the decisive service break at 5-3 to close out the opening set.

Korda earned another early break at 3-2, but struggled in the second set as he served for his first spot in an ATP Tour final. A tentative game at 5-4 gave Norrie the foothold he needed to save two match points and level the score. But as in the first set, Korda didn’t panic, and crossed the finish line two games later.

“At 5-4, two match points… he played one good point but then I threw in a double fault,” Korda acknowledged. “But other than that, I played a really good match and I’m super happy with it.”

Korda will take on fourth-seeded Hubert Hurkacz for the first time in the Delray Beach final. The Polish player defeated qualifier Christian Harrison 7-6(4), 6-4 earlier in the day to advance to his second ATP Tour final.

 

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