Hurkacz & Swiatek Win Deciding Mixed Doubles To Send Poland To Sydney
Hubert Hurkacz and Iga Swiatek were the heroes for Poland on Wednesday, sending their country to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney. The Polish stars won a deciding mixed doubles match in the Brisbane City Final, defeating Italy's Lorenzo Musetti and Camilla Rosatello 6-1, 6-2.
Hurkacz had lost the No. 1 men's singles match earlier in the evening, but he returned to Pat Rafter Arena with Swiatek, who had won the No. 1 women's singles match, to clinch the tie. The Poles were in control throughout, and the pair embraced after Swiatek hit a final volley into the open court.
“[It feels] amazing, honestly. I don’t know. I think it’s better winning in a team than individually. I’m so happy that we did it together and team effort for sure paid off,” Swiatek said. “Today’s match was pretty stressful because we [don’t] play mixed doubles usually. But I’m so happy that I was able to play a solid game and Hubi was pushing our opponents and really making it easy for me. So I’m really happy that we played such a nice game.”
The only impediment to the Poles' masterful performance was the rain. There is a roof on Pat Rafter Arena, but there were two short delays early in the second set when sideways rain made its way onto the court.
During those breaks, Italy's No. 1 men's singles player, Matteo Berrettini, and captain Vincenzo Santopadre urged their team on, providing motivation and tactical advice. But it was not enough, as Hurkacz and Swiatek triumphed after 65 minutes.
“Definitely it was a little bit stressful before the match. Obviously Team Italy is a really super strong team,” Hurkacz said. “It was a very interesting matchup, but it was definitely a lot of fun to play mixed doubles to decide and… to win as a team is something special. And having Iga as a partner the way she hits the ball, it’s just amazing. Definitely the girls carried the team today, so thanks for that!”
Magda Linette gave her country a chance by levelling the tie at 2-2 with a win in the No. 2 women's singles match. Just 24 hours after clinching Poland's win over Switzerland on Tuesday with a physical win over Jil Teichmann, the World No. 48 delivered again. Linette played a focused, disciplined match to defeat Lucia Bronzetti 6-1, 6-2 in one hour and 12 minutes.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
In the first match of the evening session, World No. 16 Berrettini relied on his big serve and booming forehand to secure a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 triumph against Hurkacz after one hour and 57 minutes
"I’m really happy for the performance, for my teammates obviously," Berrettini said. "I think the level was really high. Hubi is a great player. We fought in the past, I’m sure we’re going to fight in the future as well. So I’m really, really happy. A little bit tired, but really happy."
Berrettini made a quick start, breaking Hurkacz's serve immediately. However, the encounter turned into a heavyweight clash between the two 2021 Nitto ATP Finals contenders.
There was little to differentiate between the stars, with the critical moment coming at 3-2 in the deciding set. Berrettini hit two sensational passing shots in the game to give himself a break opportunity, which he converted when the Pole missed a forehand long. The Italian now leads their ATP Head2Head series 2-1.
It was Berrettini's second Top 10 win in as many days, having defeated World No. 3 Casper Ruud on Tuesday. He also beat Thiago Monteiro in his first match of the season.
"I think the key today was my mental toughness," Berrettini said. "I wasn’t playing as good as yesterday, but tennis is like this. Every day is different, so I’m really happy for that."
View the full semi-final schedule below.
ORDER OF PLAY - FRIDAY, JANUARY 06, 2023
KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 1:00 pm
 I. Swiatek (POL) vs  J. Pegula (USA)
 D. Michalski (POL) vs  F. Tiafoe (USA)
Not Before 7:00 pm
 M. Sakkari (GRE) vs  M. Trevisan (ITA)
 M. Pervolarakis (GRE) vs  L. Musetti (ITA)
ORDER OF PLAY - SATURDAY, JANUARY 07, 2023
KEN ROSEWALL ARENA start 10:00 am
 H. Hurkacz (POL) vs  T. Fritz (USA)
 M. Linette (POL) vs  M. Keys (USA)
Mixed Doubles Match: POL vs USA
Not Before 5:00 pm
 S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs  M. Berrettini (ITA)
 D. Papamichail (GRE) vs  L. Bronzetti (ITA)
Mixed Doubles Match: GRE vs ITA