In a battle between two ATP Masters 1000 finalists, the 26th seed Hubert Hurkacz knows he must put friendship and friendship aside for a look at the Miami Open showcased with the Itau title.
After enjoying a sub-radar run in Miami, Hurkacz exploded into the scene Friday with a stunner over fourth-seeded Andrey Rublev in straight sets. It was the first time the 24-year-old Pole has won back-to-back games against Top 10 players in the same tournament, after beating second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals.
“I think I am right now,” Hurkacz said in his post-match press conference. “I’m just trying, and really happy to be where I am now, but now we try to prepare as best we can [coach Craig Boynton] for that last game on Sunday. ”
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He will face a familiar face in that tournament game – but this is one thing Hurkacz will be more used to seeing on his side of the net, as the Pole is ready to take on 19-year-old Jannik Sinner for the first time. hour.
Good friends, frequent practice partners and sometimes a double team, Hurkacz and Sinner have already split the court at two tournaments since the start of the year, picking up a 3-2 record on the season.
“We played doubles together last week in Dubai,” Hurkacz said, lamenting in a court interview. “Now we’re playing in the final of the Masters 1000 event, so it’s going to be a fun game. ”
Italian #NextGenATP has named Hurkacz as one of his best friends on the court, and the Pole had good words for himself for the fast-rising teenager ahead of their battle.
“Jannik is a good man. I think like [he’s] super, super calm and super chill, and he’s also a great guy, ”said Hurkacz. “We’re joking. We are great friends, so I wish him every success. ”
Hurkacz is looking for his third ATP Tour title and the biggest of his career in Miami. Pole started the season in tears, winning at Delray Beach presented by VITACOST.com. But he hit ‘skid’ in the weeks that followed, and it had been hard to return to his best tennis head into the first Masters 1000 event of the year.
Even after a fortnight of milestones in South Florida – where he grabbed a nine-game winning streak, including his run at Delray Beach – Hurkacz’s most crucial moment came early. in the competition. After a hard-fought battle in the opening round, the Pole sealed more than just a confident win over Denis Shapovalov in the second: this was the first time he had ruled out a win back in four contests.
– Hubert Hurkacz (@HubertHurkacz) April 3, 2021
“In the first round I beat Denis Kudla, but [it was] of course … [a] close match [that] I won the first set break, ”he said. “But then, Denis Shapovalov – [he] I met the previous week in Dubai.
“I think every game was very difficult. [I am] heavily pumped I was able to get through those games. ”