Polish Hubert Hurkacz played a fine game on Sunday to claim victory at the Miami Open, winning his first Masters and becoming the first Polish to do so. Hurkacz beat Italian Jannik Sinner 7-6 (7-4) 6-4, in a game that lasted less than two hours.
This is Hurkacz’s second win this year after winning the Delray Beach Open title in January, another event that took place in Florida. 19-year-old skinner may have lost but has now entered the top 1000 after becoming the youngest Masters finalist since Rafael Nadal in 2005.
This year’s Miami Open was without the presence of some top-ranked players including the big three; Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Roger Federer. But this does not mean it was very easy for Hurkacz as he still had to face some very tough players including Stefanos Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev, defeating all. He began his final game by winning the first three games until he was broken by Sinner who managed to make things a draw. Hurkacz, however, found the tie-break in that set and was able to win it. The same pattern played out in the next set as Sinner was found a way to draw near Hurkacz but the older player was able to use his experience to his advantage, winning the game eventually.
World number 37, who is now the lowest-ranked player to win a Masters tournament since Tomas Berdych did so in 2005, explained after the match that he spent a good chunk of 2020 in Florida and that may have given him the edge; “Last year I spent here almost half a year. I was practising in the hottest weather during the spring and summer here, so I think that helped me a lot playing now in Florida, especially in these pretty tough conditions here.”
On the women’s side, world number one Ashleigh Barty successfully defended her title for a second time after her opponent, Bianca Andreescu had to retire in the second set due to a problem with her ankle. Andreescu was already losing 4-0 after losing the first set and just thought it best to call it quits at that point. Her ankle has been a constant source of worry for her, forcing her to withdraw from events this year, even though she just returned to action in February after being away for 15 months.
Andreescu’s withdrawal gave Barty her second WTA Tour title and her 10th career win. But Andreescu still gains something out of it as it is expected that she would move up to number 6 on the WTA ranking.
Written by: Leon Osamor