Tennis: Hubert Hurkacz Wins Miami Open Title

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Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz became the first player from his country to win a Masters 1000 title after defeating Jannik Sinner 7-6(4), 6-4 in straight sets in the Miami Open final at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, USA.

Hurkacz, 24, started the stronger of the two, taking advantage of a nerve-stricken Sinner opening service game he broke en route to opening up a 3-0 lead with relative ease. However, the lead was short lived as the Italian teenager battled back to draw level with his form elevating.

Hitting some thunderous forehand shots the 21st seed continued to weather the storm during what was a roller coaster opening set with both players having advantages. Sinner looked to be on the verge of clinching the first set after a 88 mph backhand winner rewarded him with two break point opportunities which he converted to nudge ahead 6-5. Although he failed to serve it out as Hurkacz broke back to love to take proceedings into a tiebreaker.

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz strikes the tennis ball during Miami Open final against Jannik Sinner

It would be Sinner’s unforced errors that would cost him dearly. A forehand shank, followed by another shot going long enabled the Pole to move ahead to 5-2 in the tiebreak and this time it was enough of a margin to see him over the finish line. Hurkacz went on to clinch the set with the help of Sinner’s 28th unforced error of the match.

Continuing his momentum into the second frame, the world Number 37 broke instantly as he edged nearer to the biggest title of his career. Mentally, he was the superior one the court as his younger rival began to implode.

Sinner continued to battle until the very end as nerves started to trouble Hurkacz. It resulted in his 4-0 lead in the second set being slashed to 4-3. Nevertheless, the resurgence wasn’t enough to change the dynamic of the match as Hurkacz sealed the win with the help of another mistake from Sinner.

“That was a huge game (4-3). I was a little bit nervous. I had opportunities to get a triple break to serve for it. Then Jannik started to hit the ball really well, Hurkacz said after the match.

“He’s an amazing competitor and I’m so happy that I was able to come through it.”

Hubert Hurkacz (L) shakes hands with Jannik Sinner (R) during Miami Open final at the Hard Rock Stadium

His triumph completes what has been a dream tournament for Hurkacz who also defeated top 10 players Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev earlier in the week.

Following his victory, Hurkacz will rise to 16th in the ATP rankings when they are updated on Monday. The highest ranking position in his career so far.

 

Chidi Nwoke.

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