Opelka, Hurkacz Advance In Indian Wells
Opelka put on a serving exhibition on Stadium 1, firing 11 aces and winning 90 per cent (26/29) of first-serve points. The 16th seed, who has now won 10 of his past 14 matches, also did not face a break point.
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The American was the finalist at the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers in August, losing to World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev in the final. Opelka is a two-time champion on the ATP Tour, with victories in New York in 2019 and Delray Beach in 2020, but is yet to win a title in 2021.
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The 24-year-old Pole is a three-time champion on the ATP Tour in 2021, including a maiden ATP Masters 1000 triumph at the Miami Open. Hurkacz defeated Italian Jannik Sinner in the final to become Poland’s first ATP Masters 1000 champion.
Hurkacz was broken for the first time when serving for the match at 5-4 in the second set, but maintained his composure to win the next two games and advance. The eighth seed put constant pressure on Popyrin's serve, breaking the 22-year-old Australian four times.
A debut at the Nitto ATP Finals, which will be held from 14-21 November, is in reach for Hurkacz, who is currently ninth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin. He was recently overtaken in the Race by Casper Ruud following the Norwegian’s victory at the San Diego Open last week.