Hurkacz Completes Memorable Tsitsipas Comeback In Miami
Hubert Hurkacz has been having fun in the Florida sun this year but, after just 52 minutes against Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Miami Open presented by Itau on Thursday, the 26th seed found himself serving at 2-6, 0-2, 15/40 and feeling the heat.
The Pole, who had struggled to keep his error count down on Grandstand, raised his aggression to extend his unbeaten run in Florida this year to eight matches with a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory. Hurkacz entered the match with one win from seven ATP Head2Head clashes against Tsitsipas, but he fired 15 aces and broke serve on three occasions to reach his first ATP Masters 1000 semi-final.
“It is so big [to be in my first Masters 1000 semi-final], especially in front of the crowd here in Miami,” said Hurkacz. “It is a super big win for me and I can’t wait for the next match.”
For the sixth straight match, Hurkacz and Tsitsipas needed a deciding set to separate them. Hurkacz has recovered from a set down in back-to-back matches in Miami, following his 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) win against Milos Raonic in the Round of 16.
“I was trying to keep fighting and that’s what I did,” said Hurkacz. “[I am] super pumped and happy that I was able to turn this match around.”
Tsitsipas took advantage of a below-par Hurkacz performance to race into a 6-2, 2-0 lead. The Greek held two break points to establish a 3-0 advantage in the second set, but Hurkacz served with power and moved to the net to halt Tsitsipas’ momentum.
“He was returning very well and I had to play a lot of rallies,” said Hurkacz. “At the beginning of the match, I tried to go for too much, so then I was trying to adapt my game a little bit.”
That third game proved to be the turning point for Hurkacz, who returned with aggression to push Tsitsipas into defensive positions and extract errors. The Delray Beach champion won six of seven games from 0-2 to level the match.
Hurkacz earned the crucial break of the match at 2-2 in the third set. Tsitsipas had led 40/0 in the game, but the World No. 37 ripped a backhand passing shot up the line and placed his opponent in uncomfortable positions at the net to break serve. Hurkacz landed a powerful serve down the T to convert his first match point.
Hurkacz will face fourth seed Andrey Rublev in the final, after the Russian took down #NextGenATP American Sebastian Korda 7-5, 7-6(7) later in the day. The 24-year-old Pole owns a 1-0 ATP Head2Head record against Rublev after claiming a victory in their 2020 Internazionali BNL d'Italia meeting.