Nearly a year and a half after becoming the second Polish man to win an ATP title in the Open Era, Hubert Hurkacz returned to the winner’s circle on Wednesday. Hurkacz took out first-time ATP finalist Sebastian Korda, 6-3, 6-3, to capture the Delray Beach Open.
“It’s amazing that I can represent Poland and also that the Polish people are coming and supporting us playing,” Hurkacz said. “Whether that’s [here in Delray Beach] or in Sydney, Australia for the ATP Cup. So it’s really nice to be Polish.”
Playing in his first ever final, the 20-year-old Korda showed no signs of nerves as he broke at love right out of the gate and went up 3-1—though it was a short-lived lead. Soon Hurkacz, the more experienced player, settled in by breaking in the sixth game and consolidating to keep his nose out in front. Two games later, he had the first set in his pocket.
Korda, who clearly was not moving well, took a medical timeout during the first changeover of the second set to treat his left knee. The break didn’t affect Hurkacz’s momentum, as the No. 4 seed secured his third break of serve to go up 3-2. A few minutes later, he capped a terrific week without losing a set.
As for Korda, he can take solace in the fact that he had a breakthrough week despite falling short in the championship encounter. The young American ousted No. 5 seed Tommy Paul in the second round to reach his first career quarterfinal. He followed that with a well-fought victory over No. 2-seeded John Isner, his second straight win over his compatriot. In the semifinals, he defeated Cameron Norrie in straight sets.
Hurkacz—who never faced a player ranked in the Top 100 all week—has been inspired by his compatriot Iga Swiatek. The 19-year-old made history at Roland Garros last October when she became the first Polish player to win a Grand Slam.
“What she did at the French Open was unbelievable and a huge inspiration,” he said. “It’s amazing what she has done, winning a Grand Slam not being seeded and playing the way she played. So that’s really inspiring for all of Poland what she did achieve.”
Hurkacz is projected to jump six spots from No. 35 when the next ATP rankings are published, all but guaranteeing he'll be seeded at the Australian Open.