Hurkacz Downs Shapovalov, Raonic Next Up In Miami
Just two weeks after his loss to the Canadian at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Hurkacz converted his only break point of the match to record his 10th win of the season (10-5). The Pole, who won four matches en route to the Delray Beach trophy in January, is through to the Round of 16 in Miami for the first time.
Hurkacz improved to 3-1 in his ATP Head2Head series against Shapovalov. The World No. 37 recorded all three of his wins against Shapovalov in the United States, following previous victories in 2019 at the BNP Paribas Open and the Winston-Salem Open.
“I think serving well helped me. A couple of free points in each service game were helping,” said Hurkacz. “I stayed aggressive throughout the whole match. I was trying not to let Denis push me back, because his shots are very powerful and he can hit them really well. That was crucial.”
The opening set featured four break points. Hurkacz charged the net to save the three he faced and showed great defensive skill to convert a break point at 4-3. In a second set dominated by serve, Hurkacz won 83 per cent of his service points (29/35) and clinched his place in the next round with a powerful serve down the T.
The 24-year-old will face another Canadian in his next match: Milos Raonic. The 2018 quarter-finalist saved all three break points he faced to defeat Ugo Humbert 6-4, 7-5 and book a first ATP Head2Head meeting against Hurkacz.
Raonic has not dropped a set en route to the Round of 16. In his opening match of the tournament, the Canadian charged past Jordan Thompson 6-2, 6-1 in 59 minutes. Raonic is chasing his maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Miami, having finished as a runner-up at four hard-court Masters 1000 tournaments.
“I need to focus on returning well [against Raonic]. That will be crucial,” said Hurkacz. “He is serving big and staying aggressive. If I serve well and I am able to hold my serve, that will be crucial and then [I will] try to put some pressure on Milos in his service games.”