Paul targets US number one spot against Musetti in Queen's final

<a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Italy;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Italy</a>'s Lorenzo Musetti celebrates after reaching his first grass final at Queen's in London (HENRY NICHOLLS)
Italy's Lorenzo Musetti celebrates after reaching his first grass final at Queen's in London (HENRY NICHOLLS)

Tommy Paul won an all-American clash with Sebastian Korda on Saturday to set up a final showdown with Italy's Lorenzo Musetti at the Queen's ATP tournament in London.

Paul, the fifth seed, triumphed 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) and will overtake Taylor Fritz as the new American number one if he wins his third tour-level trophy on Sunday.

Musetti, 22, survived a fightback from Australia's Jordan Thompson to win 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 18 minutes to advance to his third final and first on grass.

"I am happy and I feel every time I step on grass I learn something and play a little better," said Paul, 27, who is preparing for his third final of the season.

"I felt like I did a pretty good job today."

Paul recovered from letting slip a 5-2 lead in the second set to seal his win in a tie-break, avenging his quarter-final defeat to Korda in 's-Hertogenbosch last week.

Korda also lost in the semi-finals at Queen's last year

Musetti holds a 7-1 record on grass this year, having advanced to the semi-finals in Stuttgart last week.

The Italian struck 14 winners and hit just four unforced errors in the decider, sealing victory on his first match point.

"That was definitely one of the toughest matches of this week. Jordan was playing at an amazing level, especially in the second and third set," said 30th-ranked Musetti.

"It was key for me to hold serve at the end and I'm really proud of what I've achieved this week."

"It would be super nice to win here in Queen's with so much history," added the Italian.

"I love this sport. I'm really passionate about tennis since I was a kid. I dreamed to be a tennis player and become number one in the world.

"There are a lot of Italians here in London, I really feel like I'm at home."

Thompson, ranked 43rd, needed treatment for a back problem and had to battle from a set down to take the match to a decider.

Musetti grabbed the decisive break when the Australian's volley landed just out, and held serve to love before collapsing in delight.