ATP Miami: Hubert Hurkacz beats Andrey Rublev for career-best result

The 24-year-old Hubert Hurkacz has become the second Polish player in the Masters 1000 final after Jerzy Janowicz in 2012 following a rock-solid 6-3, 6-4 victory over an in-form Andrey Rublev. Heading to Miami with a 14-13 score at this level, Hubert defeated Denis Kudla, Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Stefanos Tsitsipas to enter the last four, facing Rublev in the battle for the final. The Pole beat the Russian for the second time in as many encounters, firing eight aces and fending off four out of five break points to keep the pressure on the other side. Struggling on the second serve, Andrey got broken thrice to finish on the losing side in his first Masters 1000 semi-final. Hubert tamed his strokes nicely and hit 25 winners and unforced errors, leaving Rublev on a 14-23 ratio and moving into the title clash.

The Pole had the upper hand in the quickest rallies, and that carried him home, outplaying the Russian in the crucial moments to remain a perfect record against him. Hurkacz closed the opening game at love with an ace and broke Rublev a few minutes later when his coeval sprayed a forehand mistake.

Hubert Hurkacz outplayed Andrey Rublev for his first Masters 1000 final.

Keeping his game on a high level, Hubert hit a service winner to open a 3-0 gap after only seven minutes, hoping for more of the same in the rest of the clash. The Pole brought the fifth game home with a service winner and grabbed a break following the Russian’s forehand error to build a massive 5-1 lead. Returning in game seven, Andrey defended three set points and pulled one break back with a forehand crosscourt winner.

Rublev saved another set point behind the initial shot in game eight before Hubert seized the sixth set point in the next one after an unreturned serve for 6-3 after 39 minutes. With momentum on his side, Hurkacz secured an early break in set number two after Rublev’s loose backhand to move closer to the finish line. Hubert produced four comfortable holds to open a 5-3 gap, with a match point up for grabs on the return in game nine. Andrey saved it with a forehand drive-volley winner and made one last push on the return in game ten, eager to extend the match and his chances. The Pole erased three break chances with powerful hitting and converted the third match point with a forehand winner for the title match.

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