WATCH: The Hubi Show! Hubert Hurkacz Delivers Tweener Passing Shot Winner vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas | Cincinnati


Hubert Hurkacz may not be the flashiest player on tour, but the Pole still showed off plenty of style with a sneaky trick shot during his victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday at the Western & Southern Open.

The 26-year-old played some of his best tennis of the year to stun the No. 4 seed—highlighted by a front-facing tweener (video above) that wrong-footed his opponent for the perfect passing shot.

“I just felt in the moment that this was the right shot to play. Luckily it worked out,” Hurkacz later  told press with a sheepish smile. “Sometimes you have a chance to go for those shots, and this one was quite a good one!”

Hurkacz had to dig deep to claim his third-round victory in blustery conditions, breaking once in each set en route to a 6-3, 6-4 win. He said the key was to give himself plenty of margin in his shots, and the score sheet reflected this: he struck 27 winners and just four unforced errors in the match.

“You just have to accept that every single point the wind is a little bit different,” he explained. “It changes and varies a lot. You just have to definitely play with bigger targets and put the ball in the spots that are going to be uncomfortable for your opponents.”

After recording his first Top 10 win of the season over Tsitsipas, Hurkacz advanced to his first ATP Masters 1000 event of the year in Cincy. It’s a confidence boosting-milestone for the world No. 20, who broke through last year by winning the title in Miami and reaching the final in Montreal but has struggled to replicate that success in 2023.

“I think the game is there, but it didn’t really click yet. Maybe this week, you know?” Hurkacz said. “But I think I’m really ambitious and I want to achieve a lot more than I did. So regarding that, it was a bit difficult, but you always try to keep your head up and be really positive and put in the work.”

Up next, Hurkacz will face Australia’s Alexei Popyrin, world No. 58, in the quarterfinals on Friday.