2021 in Review: Hubert Hurkacz conquers Miami over Jannik Sinner

Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner were the last men standing at the season’s first Masters 1000 event in Miami. Both players pursued the first Masters 1000 crown, and Hurkacz overpowered his doubles partner Sinner 7-6, 6-4 in an hour and 43 minutes and became the first Masters 1000 champion from Poland at 24. Hubert cracked the top-16 with those 1000 points on his tally, continuing where he left in Delray Beach in January and extending his Florida reign. It was the first Masters 1000 final between players ranked outside the top-30 since Paris 2003, and Hurkacz became the lowest-ranked champion at this level since Tomas Berdych in Paris 2005. The Pole won nine points more than the Italian, failing to defend any of three break chances and erasing that deficit with four breaks on his tally from 11 opportunities. The opening set lasted for almost 60 minutes, and it saw four breaks of serve and a tight battle that could have ended on the other side. Like against Bautista Agut in the semis, Jannik got broken in his first service game when his backhand landed wide, with Hubert moving 3-0 up after deuce.

Hubert Hurkacz beat Jannik Sinner for the first Masters 1000 title at 24.

Sinner broke back in game five and fended off two break chances in the next one to level the score at 3-3 and settle into a fine rhythm. A teenager saved another break opportunity in game eight with a service winner and created the first lead with a break at 15 at 5-5 after forcing Hurkacz’s backhand mistake. Serving for the set, the Italian suffered a break at love to keep the rival in contention ahead of the tie break. With momentum on his side, Hubert created a 6-2 gap and claimed the breaker 7-4 after Jannik’s forehand mistake.

With nothing working his way, Sinner claimed only five points in the second set’s opening four games to find himself 7-6, 4-0 down. In the opening game, a teenager sprayed a forehand error and got broken again at 0-2. Fending off two break points in game five, Sinner avoided an even bigger disaster and gained at least some momentum that led him towards a break in game six. Remaining calm, Hubert held at 30 in games eight and ten and sealed the deal when Sinner hit a loose forehand at 5-4 to celebrate his career’s proudest moment.

Leave a Reply