2021 in Review: Hubert Hurkacz downs Stefanos Tsitsipas in Miami

The 24-year-old Hubert Hurkacz reached the Miami Open semi-final thanks to a 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 triumph over the 2nd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in two hours and 20 minutes. The Wroclaw native came to Miami with a mediocre 14-13 score at the Masters 1000 level and found his A-game in Florida to beat Denis Shapovalov, Milos Raonic and Stefanos Tsitsipas for his first Masters 1000 semi-final. Hurkacz became the second Polish player to achieve that after Jerzy Janowicz in Paris 2012, remaining on the title course and improving his score against the top-5 rivals on the hard court to 4-1! Both players won 94 points and grabbed three breaks, with Hurkacz taking the upper hand in sets two and three to cross the finish line first.

The Pole landed 41 winners and 35 unforced errors, while nothing could separate them in the shortest and more advanced rallies. Hubert had to play against 13 break chances, seven of those in the opening set when he could not find his best tennis, and six in the remaining two, never losing serve after finding himself a set and a break down for a great escape. The better-ranked player secured a break in the opening game thanks to Hurkacz’s loose backhand and earned three more break chances up for grabs in game three. Hubert saved those to remain in touch and created the first damage on the return in the next one, with three break opportunities by his name.

Hubert Hurkacz defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the semi-final in Miami.

Stefanos saved those to keep the initial shot intact and survived three deuces in the next service game to maintain the advantage. Serving at 2-4, Hurkacz sprayed another error to get broken and fall further behind before the Greek fired four winners in game eight for 6-2 in 40 minutes. Tsitsipas had a massive chance to bring the victory home after securing a break at the beginning of the second set and two more break chances at 2-0. With no room for errors, Hubert saved them with winners and closed the game for a massive boost.

He broke Tsitsipas at 30 in game four to level the score, with more shaky service games on both sides in games six and seven. The next break of serve came from Hurkacz’s racquet at 4-3 thanks to Stefanos’ forehand mistake, with the Pole holding at 15 in game nine after a drop shot winner to seize the set and introduce a decider. They produced four comfortable holds at the beginning of the third set before the crucial fifth game when Tsitsipas wasted four chances to bring it home. Instead, he sprayed a smash error to suffer a break and push his rival in front before squandering a break chance in the next one to fall 4-2 behind. Hurkacz served well in game eight for a 5-3 advantage and held at 15 at 5-4 with a service winner to seal the deal and celebrate his most notable Masters 1000 result.

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