Hurkacz sees off Sinner to lift Miami Masters crown
Hubert Hurkacz moved into the ranks of the world’s top 20 tennis players for the first time on Monday after his win at the Miami Masters.
The 24-year-old Pole rose to 16 in the new ATP listings after beating the 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner 7-6, 6-4 to claim one of the most prestigious titles on the men’s tour after the four Grand Slam tournaments.
“I played some of the best tennis I've ever played,” said Hurkacz following his victory in one hour and 43 minutes. “I was solid throughout the whole tournament.”
Hurkacz went into the event as the world number 37. But he dispatched the world number five Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarter-final and eliminated the world number eight Andrey Rublev in the semi-final before Sunday’s showdown against Sinner, who was the youngest finalist at a Masters event since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
Sinner started nervously and lost the first three games of the match. But he recovered and eventually served for the set at 6-5.
But he fluffed his chance and lost in the tiebreak. With the first set pocketed, Hurkacz powered into a 4-0 lead in the second set.
But as triumph appeared, Sinner managed to come back to 4-3 but Hurkacz held off the resurgence to win the biggest title of his career.
“My tennis is getting better," said Hurkacz, who is the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters event since a 50th-ranked Tomas Berdych hoisted the Paris Masters in 2005.
“I had a big belief in myself from the beginning of the season," added Hurkacz. "Winning a tournament like this gives you extra motivation and self-confidence that, okay, you're able to do it.”
Sinner’s run to the final also propelled him up the rankings. He climbed from 31 to 23.
"What I showed here is that I improved from the last tournament," said Sinner. "Obviously when you get a little bit of confidence it's a little bit easier but you have to work hard to go deep in tournaments, especially in big tournaments.
"For me, improvement is the most important thing.”
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