By Daniel Perissé
>> Match photos
Hubert Hurkacz will always have great memories of Florida. This Sunday, April 4th, he won the Miami Open presented by Itaú Men’s Singles title after defeating Italy’s Jannik Sinner 7-6(4), 6-4, clinching his second tournament in the Sunshine State this season and his maiden Masters-level championship.
In January, Hurkacz won the Delray Beach Open. He is now the only player in history to have reached the final and conquered both tournaments in the same year, ending the “Florida Slam” with a 10-0 record.
“Yeah, I mean, like last year I spent so much time in Florida. I was here like almost half of the year. So, like, that was I think pretty — I mean, we were working hard, and I think I’m used to the conditions. So that’s I think been part of the success I had here.”
With the result, he is also the first Polish to win a Masters 1000 title. En route to the final, the 24-year-old prevailed over World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in the quarterfinals and over World No. 8 Andrey Rublev in the semifinal.
Hurkacz opened a 3-0 lead in the first set, but the 19-year-old Italian leveled the action to make it 3-3. Later, Sinner broke the Polish in the 11th game and served 6-5 to take the first set but did not hold it.
In the tie-break, Hurkacz took advantage of Sinner’s many mistakes to close the decider 7-4. In total, the Italian had 28 unforced errors in the first set.
Hurkacz opened a comfortable 4-0 lead in the second set, breaking the 19-year-old twice. But as in the first set, the Italian tried to come back and cut the difference into 4-3, breaking the Polish in the sixth game.
But Hurkacz kept his consistency and was able to confirm his serve again, opening a 5-3 lead. Sinner then held his serve, but the Polish took advantage of the first and only championship point to hold his serve and clinch the result in one hour and 44 minutes.
“To be able to win against Jannik, you need to come up with some really good stuff. I mean, he’s an amazing player and an amazing person. Such a great competitor. I mean, he’s going to have an amazing future. I was just trying to keep his pace and be able to fight for each ball. That’s what I was trying to do there,” explained Hurkacz.
With the Miami Open title, the 24-year-old is expected to rise to World No. 16 in the next ATP Rankings.
Sinner will also reach a career-high ranking as No. 21. Although defeated in what also was his first Masters 1000 final, he praised his “good friend” Hurkacz and even invited him to play more together on the tour:
“Many congratulations to him for this week, you showed the great talent you have and I’m prouder of the kind of person you are. You are my best friend on tour, and I think we should play more doubles together,” said the Italian. This season, they took part in two tournaments together, reaching the quarterfinals in Dubai and Melbourne-1.
For Hurkacz, this was the result of a lot of hard work. He hopes the Miami Open is just the first of many other major titles to come.
“Obviously like now I’m lifting the biggest trophy of my life so far. Like, I mean, I will just try to still get better each day and try to work on things with my coach to be a better player, better competitor. I will focus on the step that we’re doing, so we are just trying to improve each day and, yeah, this tournament was the effect of that. Like, I mean, so super, super happy with it.”