He may have only been to Miami twice in his career but 24 year old Hubert Hurkacz from Poland has a bit of a love affair with one of the most prestigious Masters 1000 events on the tour and has won it in his second appearance!
Hubi has only known Miami at the Hard Rock Stadium following it’s move there from Crandon Park in 2019 but he has shown to be at home there.
In his two appearances his run and calibre of players he has defeated has been very impressive to watch.
In 2019 he began with a 6-3 6-4 win over Matteo Berrettini and followed it up with another big win over Dominic Thiem. Just a week or so before he defeated Shapovalov and Nishikori at Indian Wells but his run in Miami was ended by Felix Auger Aliassime.
This year in Miami it got better, he opened up with a win against Denis Kudla and went onto beat some very good players including two top ten opponents to make the final:
R2 – 6-3 7-6 vs Shapovalov
R3 – 4-6 6-3 7-6 vs Raonic
QF – 2-6 6-3 6-4 vs Tsitsipas
SF – 6-3 6-4 vs Rublev
F – 7-6 6-4 vs Sinner
What an incredible journey from the 24 year old who has not been on the tour for too long but thoroughly deserves this. When others slipped up he rose to the occasion. His tennis in Miami has been so calm and breathtaking to watch he has been a breath of fresh air.
There haven’t been too many surprise champions in Miami even with the names missing this year, it is still one of the biggest surprises in Masters 1000 history.
The pressure was on for Tsitsipas and Rublev when other seeds continued to fall and they crumbled. It felt like they were playing the occasion rather than the match and Hurkacz has oozed a calmness and control this week.
He is very calming to watch, the way he soaks up pressure but can switch it around to put you under pressure is fascinating to watch. He isn’t afraid to open up the court, I wouldn’t say he is the best mover but he uses his skill well whilst defending. The sliced forehand in particular changes the pace of the whole rally, you’ve gone from power to craft quite quickly and it asks questions.
How far can Hubi go? I think he can be top 15 in the world consistently, he is very humble what a start to 2021 he has had!