Hubert Hurkacz: "To beat Jannik Sinner, you have to do something special" - UBITENNIS
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Hubert Hurkacz: “To beat Jannik Sinner, you have to do something special”

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Hubert Hurkacz has broken into the top 20 in the ATP Rakning for the first time in his career after claiming the biggest title of his career at the Masters 1000 in Miami, where he beat Jannik Sinner last Sunday. 

 

Hurkacz has moved up from world number 37 to his career-high number 16 and is currently ranked number 6 in the Race to Turin, which considers only the results from 1 January 2021. 

Hurkacz beat Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev in the previous rounds before claiming 7-6 6-4 in the final. For the first time in his career he beat two back-to-back top 10 players and improved his record against the top 10 to 7-10.

The Polish 24-year-old player clinched his third career title in Winston Salem in 2019 and Delray Beach in 2021. He played his best tennis on US soil, where he trains under the guidance of Craig Boynton, who coached Jim Courier, Mardy Fish, John Isner, Sam Querrey and Steve Johnson in the past. 

“I played my best ever tennis. I was solid throughout the whole tournament, and I was able to get through each round, and was even more pumped for the next round. I think that’s special for me. My tennis is getting better. We work hard with my coach Craig Boynton, and I am very happy that it happened here. We still need to improve a couple of things and just try to get better each day. Winning the tournament like this like gives you extra like motivation and self-confidence”, said Hurkacz. 

Hurkacz lives and trains for most of the year in Tampa, Florida, where Boynton is based. The 24-year-old player from Wroclaw claimed the third title of his career on US soil after winning in Winston Salem in 2019 and Delray Beach in 2021. With his title at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Hurkacz has moved up to sixth in the ATP Race to Turin. 

“Last year I spent so much time in Florida. I was here almost half of the year. We were working pretty here, and I think I am used to the conditions. I think that’s been part of the success I had here in Florida. I played the best tennis I ever played. I was solid throughout the whole tournament and I was able to get through each round. I was even more pumped for the next round. I think that’s something special for me. My tennis is getting better. I was even more pumped for the next round. That’s something special for me. My tennis is getting better. We work hard with my coach Craig and I am very happy that it happened here. We still need to improve a couple of things, and just try to get better each day. I have been working a lot with Craig on the serve, on the forehand return, as well. Obviously, like on the mental approach and the tactics, and the tactics, how to play certain opponents. My serve serve gave me a lot of free points, and against such as a great opponent you need them to stay competitive. Like always, you need battle from the baseline to get ahead, and with your serve you can get just a little bit of edge on your side ”.

Polish tennis is enjoying a golden period. After Iga Swiatek’s Grand Slam title at Roland Garros last October, Hurkacz has become the first Polish player to win a Masters 1000 title in Miami. 

“I was super happy of Iga. What she has done there in the French Open was amazing. I think that gave the belief for us: for me and the younger players in Poland that it’s possible to win those big titles. Hopefully with my game, I can also inspire some people in Poland and hopefully they enjoyed it there. I am super proud to be Polish, and I am thankful for all the support that I get”.

Hurkacz beats Sinner, whom he considers as his best friend on the circuit. They played in the doubles tournament in Dubai, reaching the quarter finals. 

“The final against Jannik was very hard. You have to do something special to beat Jannik. He is a fantastic player. He is a great person and will have a great future. I hit with Jannik like on the Challenger in Italy when I first got into top 100, so that was like three years ago or even a little bit more. He might have lost in qualies there, but he was practicing every single day. I was seeing him like like in 2019, like, practising in Monte-Carlo. Then getting some wildcards and playing well in the ATP events. Like he was just practising there. He was alway very nice. He is very professional. He really wants to improve and get better. He is a super cool guy. I wish him all the best for the future. He started playing better, when I had the chance for a 5-0 lead in the second set. I got nervous and he clawed his way way back into the match.”. 

The younger generation had a chance to win a Masters 1000 title in the absence of the Big 3 players Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. “I think like all the Next Gen guys were trying their best game, to compete as hard as they can. Hopefully spectators enjoyed it and liked it. Jannik is an amazing competitor and player. I think he is great great for the sport, like couple of other guys. It’s not for me to judge but hopefully, all the people enjoyed watching us and supporting us players play here in Miami”.

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Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori claim the doubles title in Cagliari

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An all-Italian doubles team formed by Lorenzo Sonego and Andrea Vavassori claimed the doubles title at the Sardegna Open in Cagliari with a 6-3 6-4 win over Simone Bolelli and Andres Molteni n 75 minutes. 

 

Sonego and Vavassori got the first break in the fourth game to take a 3-1 lead. Bolelli and Molteni broke straight back in the fifth game for 2-3, but Sonego and Vavassori claimed their second break to win the first set 6-3. Both teams traded breaks in the second and third games of the second set. They held their service games in the next five games before Sonego and Vavassori sealed the second set with their decisive break in the ninth game. 

Sonego and Vavassori, who both come from Turin, had beaten Marcelo Melo and Jean-Julien Rojer in the Cagliari first round. They have become the first Italian doubles team to clinch an ATP title on Italian soil since Giorgio Galimberti and Daniele Bracciali in February 2005 in Milan. 

Sonego will bid to become the first player to win the singles and doubles titles at the same tournament since Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s in London in 2019. 

The last Italian player to score a double title was Matteo Berrettini, who won the singles and the doubles tournament with Daniele Bracciali in Gstaad 2018. For the first time at least three Italian players have contested an ATP Tour doubles title since Casablanca 1998 when Andrea Gaudenzi and Diego Nargiso beat Cristian Brandi and Filippo Messori.

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Pablo Carreno sets up all-Spanish final against Jaume Munar in Marbella

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Last year’s US Open semifinalist Pablo Carreno Busta battled past his compatriot Albert Ramos Vinolas 6-1 3-6 7-6 (7-5) in an all-Spanish semifinal to secure his spot in the Any Tech 365 Andalucia Open in Marbella. 

 

Carreno Busta has improved his head-to-to-head record against Ramos Vinolas to 3-1. 

Carreno Busta raced out to a 5-0 lead with a double break to win a one-sided first set 6-1. Ramos Vinolas won just one point from ten on his second serve. 

Ramos Vinolas bounced back by winning the second set 6-3 with just one break in the fourth game. For the 12th time in his last 13 matches, Ramos Vinolas sent them into the third set. 

Ramos Vinolas went up a break in the third game and was just two points from victory as he served for the match at 5-4. Carreno Busta broke back in the 10th game to draw level to 5-5 after a double fault and a forehand error from Ramos Vinolas. 

Carreno Busta converted his third match point to seal the third set after 2 hours and 11 minutes securing his spot into the eighth final of his career. 

“It was so close. I don’t know what happened in the second set. At the beginning of the match, I was very focused on my game and my aggressive. After that, Albert started to push back more I started to lose my level a little bit. I just kept fighting all the time, and I want to thank everyone in the crowd for their support. This is what we missed last year, the crowd. It’s very important to play these close matches with a crowd like that”, said Carreno Busta.

Carreno Busta set up an all-Spanish final against Jaume Munar, who beat Carlos Alcaraz 7-6 (7-4) 6-4. Alcaraz got an early break in the second game of the opening set, but Munar broke straight back and saved a break point to hold serve at deuce for 2-2. Alcaraz earned an early mini-break to take a 2-0 lead, but Munar won seven of the next nine points with two mini-breaks to claim the tie-break 7-4. 

Munar converted his fourth break point in the second game after five deuces to take a 2-0 lead. Alcaraz broke back at love in the third game and held serve at deuce to draw level to 2-2. After four consecutive on serve Munar went up a break at love in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead. Alcaraz broke straight back at love for 4-5. Munar sealed the second set 6-4 with a break in the 10th game.

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Lorenzo Sonego reaches his third career final in Cagliari

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Lorenzo Sonego battled past Taylor Fritz 6-4 5-7 6-1 after 2 hours and 39 minutes to advance to the final of the Sardegna Open in Cagliari. 

 

Sonego is one match away from becoming the first Italian player to clinch an ATP Tour clay-court title on home soil. Former world number 25 and current Italian Davis Cup captain Filippo Volandri was the last Italian player to win an ATP Tour on Italian soil, when he beat Nicolas Lapentti in Palermo 2006. 

Sonego converted his sixth break point with three powerful forehands in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Fritz broke back in the eighth game with a deep forehand to draw level to 4-4, but Sonego earned an immediate break to love. 

Sonego reeled off five consecutive games from 4-4 to build up a 6-4 3-0 lead with a break in the ninth game of the first set at love and two breaks in the first and third games of the second set. Fritz pulled back both times to draw level to 3-3. The US player earned his third break in the 12th game to claim the second set after 64 minutes when Sonego hit a backhand into the net. 

Sonego started the third set with an early break in the first game with a drop shot. The Turin-native player went up a double break with three consecutive forehands to take a 3-0 lead. The 2019 Antalya champion raced out to a 5-0 lead with his third break. Fritz pulled one break back in the sixth game for 1-5 but Sonego sealed the third set 6-1 with his fourth break to secure his spot in his third career final and his first title match on clay. Last year he upset Novak Djokovic in the semifinal before finishing runner-up to Andrey Rublev in the final at the Erste Open in Vienna. Yesterday Sonego came back from one set down to beat Yannik Hanfmann 3-6 7-6 6-3 in the quarter finals. 

Sonego will take on Laslo Djere, who cruised past Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-2 6-0. Djere broke twice in the third and seventh games and got three consecutive breaks in the third set.

Djere dropped just one set against Lorenzo Musetti this week. He becomes the second Italian player after Andreas Seppi to reach finals on all surfaces after winning his first title on grass in Antalya 2019 and reaching the Vienna 2020 final on indoor hard-court last year. Sonego has also qualified for the doubles final alongside Andrea Vavassori against Simone Bolelli and Andres Molteni.

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