Sonego Outserves Hurkacz To Reach Metz Final

Italian upsets defending champ, sets final clash with Bublik

Lorenzo Sonego was taking on one of the ATP Tour’s biggest servers in Hubert Hurkacz on Saturday afternoon at the Moselle Open. Yet it was the Italian’s delivery which proved impenetrable as he upset the 2021 champion to reach the final at the ATP 250 event in Metz.

In a semi-final clash with few opportunities on return, it was Sonego who held his nerve to advance to his fifth tour-level final with a 7-6(5), 6-4 win. He stayed consistent to claim the first-set tie-break before converting the sole break point of the match at 3-3 in the second set to wrap a 99-minute victory.

“I’m really happy, because this is my first final this year, and I’ve played so well day after day,” said Sonego after the match. ”I’m really happy for that. Hubi is a great server, and it’s very tough to return the ball, but today I played so well and I enjoyed every moment on court.”

Sonego won 84 per cent (38/45) of points behind his first serve against the second seed Hurkacz, who in comparison won 72 per cent (31/43) on his first delivery. The win moves Sonego into a 3-2 lead in his ATP Head2Head series against the Pole, while the Italian’s run in Metz has propelled him up 13 spots to No. 52 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

The 27-year-old Sonego has seen off a series of high-quality opponents with his impressive form this week in Metz. He took out sixth seed Aslan Karatsev, three-time champion Gilles Simon and talented American Sebastian Korda to reach the semi-finals, and Saturday’s straight-sets win means he is yet to drop a set in the tournament.

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Sonego will next play for his third ATP Tour title in Sunday’s final against Alexander Bublik. The seventh seed advanced to his second tour-level championship match of the season after Stan Wawrinka was forced to retire after just three games of the pair’s semi-final clash.

Bublik, who led 16-time tour-level titlist Wawrinka 2-1 in the opening set before the Swiss was forced to stop, lifted his maiden ATP Tour trophy on indoor hard courts in Montpellier in February. However, the Kazakh World No. 44 will enter Sunday’s clash against Sonego with a 0-3 deficit in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series.

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