Hurkacz Serves Past Tsitsipas In Cincinnati

Pole to face Popyrin next at ATP Masters 1000

Hubert Hurkacz ended his barren run against Top 10 opponents in style Thursday at the Western & Southern Open, where the Pole downed fourth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3, 6-4.

Hurkacz delivered a classy all-around display to overwhelm Tsitsipas, with his serve proving a devastating weapon on the Cincinnati centre court. The World No. 20 dropped just 10 points behind his delivery across the two sets, firing 11 aces as he snapped his six-match losing streak against Top 10 opponents that had stretched back to Montreal in 2022.

“I’m really pleased with the way I played, with the way I tried to use the conditions, because it was really tricky,” said Hurkacz, who had also not reached a Masters 1000 quarter-final since Montreal last year. “It was super windy, and the ball was definitely moving a lot. I’m really pleased with this victory because it has been a long time without a quarter-final in a Masters event. I’m happy with the victory and happy with the work with all my team.”

Hurkacz survived a break point to hold in the opening game of the match and then immediately broke for 2-0 to take control early in his 10th Lexus ATP Head2Head meeting with Tsitsipas. The 26-year-old Hurkacz, who lifted a Masters 1000 title in Miami in 2021, fended off another two break points in the seventh game but was untroubled behind serve thereafter. He completed a 65-minute triumph, just his third at tour-level against the Greek, to improve to 30-17 for the season.

Hurkacz’s quarter-final opponent in Cincinnati will be lucky loser Alexei Popyrin. The Australian earlier defeated Emil Ruusuvuori 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 to reach his maiden Masters 1000 quarter-final on his Cincinnati debut.

“Alexei’s game is really strong, way higher than he is in the rankings, as he is showing this week,” said Hurkacz, who leads the World No. 58 Popyrin 2-0 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series. “He’s playing some great tennis, he’s a big server and a great competitor. Everyone wants to win a match so it’s going to be a battle and I will try my best.”

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