Awesome Hurkacz Races Past Medvedev To Halle Title

Pole is seventh player in Open Era to win first five tour-level finals

Hubert Hurkacz produced one of the performances of the 2022 grass season so far on Sunday at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle, where the Pole dismantled World No.1 Daniil Medvedev in the championship match to claim his first title for 2022.

The fifth seed broke Medvedev three times on his way to a quickfire 6-1, 6-4 win that secured his maiden tour-level trophy on grass. The 2021 Wimbledon semi-finalist was imperious behind his serve and dominant from the baseline as he eased to the first ATP 500 crown of his career in just 63 minutes on OWL Arena.

“I’m super excited, I’ve been waiting a little bit for my first [title] this year," said Hurkacz in his on-court interview. "I’m happy to win my first ATP 500 title and of course, on the grass it is very special.

“I was serving pretty good today and got a little bit of momentum from the first game. I saved a couple of deuces on my service game and then I managed to break Daniil’s serve so I definitely got a little bit of momentum. I’m very happy with the win in front of such a great crowd here.”

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With his fifth tour-level title, Hurkacz will rise two spots to No. 10 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings. He becomes the seventh player in the Open Era to have won his first five championship matches at tour-level, a group that includes current World No. 7 Carlos Alcaraz.

Medvedev was playing in a grass-court final for the second consecutive week. However, just as he had against Tim Van Rijthoven in ‘s-Hertogenbosch a week ago, the World No. 1 struggled to find his top level throughout the championship match. Medvedev is now 0-3 for tour-level finals in 2022 as he hunts his first title since lifting the trophy at the US Open last September.

Hurkacz had come through his quarter-final against Felix Auger-Aliassime and his semi-final against Nick Kyrgios without breaking serve once, but the Pole made immediate inroads in the championship match as he broke twice to race to a 5-0 lead early. The fifth seed stayed aggressive with his groundstrokes yet barely missed as he gave his opponent few opportunities to dictate points. Hurkacz fired fired eight winners, including five aces in the opener to move ahead.

Medvedev’s frustration began to show as Hurkacz broke again in the first game of the second set, and although the World No. 1 did raise his level on serve, he was unable to make any impact on the powerful Hurkacz delivery. The early break proved enough for the Pole to seal a comprehensive victory having won 84 per cent (32/38) of points behind his first serve in the match and without facing a break point.

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The win moves Hurkacz into a 3-2 lead in his ATP Head2Head series with Medvedev. The 25-year-old also won the pair’s only previous meeting this season, in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open presented by Itau in March.

“Daniil is an unbelievable player," said Hurkacz. "He’s the best player in the world so it’s very tricky to play him. All the right shots went my way at the beginning, so I definitely gained a lot of momentum from that.”

“Congrats Hubert, great match today, great week," said Medvedev during the presentation ceremony. "Congrats to you and your team. You guys are super nice. Hopefully a lot more matches to play on the biggest stage. Congrats for a great week and the title.”