Hurkacz: ‘I Had A Big Belief In Myself’ In Miami
He had to play the best tennis of his life to defeat his good friend and occasional doubles partner in the final, after defeating second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas and fourth seed Andrey Rublev along the way. It was Hurkacz’s first time defeating back-to-back Top 10 players at the same tournament, improving his record against the elite group to 7-10.
“I played [some] of the best tennis I've ever played,” Hurkacz said in his post-match press conference. “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 something special for me.
“My tennis is getting better. We work hard with my coach, [Craig Boynton], and I’m super happy that it happened here. We still need to improve a couple of things and just try to get better each day.”
For the 24 year old from Poland, the Miami event is the closest thing to his home turf on the ATP Tour. Hurkacz lives and trains part-time in Tampa, where Boynton is based, and he started the 2021 season with a victory at the nearby Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.
“Last year I spent so much time in Florida,” Hurkacz said. “I was here like almost half of the year. We were working pretty hard, and I think I'm used to the conditions. I think [that’s] been part of the success I had here in Florida."
His victory in Miami made him the first player from his country to win an ATP Masters 1000 title, adding another page in the incredible chapter of Polish tennis history. In 2020, Iga Swiatek became the first Polish Grand Slam singles champion with her victory at Roland Garros – a milestone moment that Hurkacz took inspiration from in his own Miami run.
“I was super proud of Iga. What she has done there in [the] French Open was amazing,” Hurkacz recalled. “I think that gave the belief for us: for me, myself, 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'm super, super proud to be Polish, and I'm thankful for all the support that I get.”
Hurkacz will depart from South Florida with a 10-0 record in the state, and a new career-high No. 16 spot in the FedEx ATP Rankings. With self-belief at a sky high, Hurkacz is hoping to continue the positive momentum for the European clay swing and beyond.
“I had a big belief in myself from the beginning of the season,” Hurkacz said. “Winning the tournament like this gives you extra motivation and self-confidence that, okay, you're able to do it. Like, you came through some really hard moments here, and you just try to do it.”