By staying competitive, Hurkacz turns tide to top Tsitsipas in Miami

By staying competitive, Hurkacz turns tide to top Tsitsipas in Miami

“I knew if I’m gonna start making those shots I was just missing, I can turn it around,” Hubert Hurkacz told Prakash Amritraj Thursday after eliminating No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Miami Open quarterfinals.

Hubert Hurkacz’s deficit against No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in Thursday’s Miami Open quarterfinals was unfavorable, but as he showed, not unmanageable to overcome.

Trailing 2-6, 0-2, 15-40, the Pole never lost faith. Believing it was only a matter of time for finishing touches to go his way, the No. 26 seed rallied to win, 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, booking his first ATP Masters 1000 semifinal appearance.

“I was trying to stay competitive. I knew if I’m gonna start making those shots I was just missing, I can turn it around,” Hurkacz told Prakash Amritraj after avenging his recent Rotterdam defeat to the Greek.

“I was staying calm and positive in my mind. It’s a quarterfinal of a Masters. You’re gonna try your best and fight until the end. That’s what I did.”

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Since claiming his first ATP crown at the 2019 Winston-Salem Open, Hurkacz has stabilized his ranking by staying within a 10-spot range—from 28 to 37. The 24-year-old’s third consecutive victory against a Top 5 opponent guarantees he’ll improve his career-high ranking by one place, to No. 27, but Hurkacz naturally has greater ambitions on his mind.

“You try to improve, get better. The ranking that I have now, it’s not satisfying for me,” he said. “I just want to keep winning. I believe if I improve my game, I can win some of those big events.”

With a first-time Masters 1000 champion assured of triumphing this weekend, Hurkacz awaits the winner of fourth seed Andrey Rublev and 20-year-old American Sebastian Korda. Hurkacz took initial meetings against both potential opponents, defeating Rublev in the second round of the Internazionali BNL D'Italia in Rome last year and outclassing Korda in January’s Delray Beach Open final.