Hurkacz becomes the first Polish player to win an ATP tour event since 1982. Currently ranked 41st, the 22-year-old has jumped nearly 200 spots in 20 months, having begun the 2018 season ranked No. 238. He ended that year ranked 86th.
"That is a lot of time [without a Polish champion]. I am so glad that I have been able to win an ATP Tour event,” said Hurkacz. “I hope many more guys will join me soon and that I will win some more. It means a lot to me and I am glad that I won this tournament here."
After trading sets, the young Polish stepped it up move ahead, breaking the Frenchman at love in the sixth game of the final set. That was enough to secure the match in three sets.
"I started to attack a little more [in the third set]. I was too defensive in the second set and Benoit started to play better. I was just trying to keep playing better and focusing on the game plan.”
Despite falling short of claiming his third title of the season, Paire is happy with his showing in Winston-Salem. Before this week, he was 1-5 at the event.
”For me it was a good week,” said Paire. “Honestly, I could have lost in [my second match] so it was really good to be in the final.”
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