It’s widely assumed that tennis players competing at the highest level can pretty much do anything with a racquet in their hands. The eye-hand coordination has to be off the charts, especially when they’re facing balls coming at them at dozens of miles per hour.

Slow things down and give them a target, and surely they can hit a ball right on the mark. Just ask Hubert Hurkacz, who recently did his part in Dubai to prove that notion right—after a few attempts.

Poland’s top player took part in the tournament’s “Pond Challenge,” where he had to hit balls into inflatable targets out on the water. After a couple of misses, Hurkacz smoothly nailed his next attempt.


Then, after conquering the water, it was on to land: From the same bridge where he stood for the first challenge, Hurkacz took aim at the trunk of a car parked in the distance already filled with tennis balls.

This was definitely a tough task, as Hurkacz noted: “The car is pretty far and you can’t get any height on the ball because of the trees.”

He hit the car on his first try—as he said, “Not too bad”—which helped him gauge what he needed to do on the next. Lining up his shot, Hurkacz one-hopped the ball into the trunk, much to the enjoyment of the spectators watching on the veranda.

On court, Hurkacz had all of his shots working in his first match against Richard Gasquet as he dispatched the Frenchman in straight sets. The 2021 Delray Beach champion had a tougher time in the round of 16, however, as Denis Shapovalov stopped him. Hurkacz did advance to the quarterfinals in men’s doubles with the young Italian Jannik Sinner, prolonging his stay in Dubai.