Hurkacz Saves MP, Clinches Second Masters 1000 Title In Shanghai

  • Posted: Oct 15, 2023

Hurkacz Saves MP, Clinches Second Masters 1000 Title In Shanghai

Pole rises to 11th in Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin

Hubert Hurkacz captured his second ATP Masters 1000 title in dramatic fashion on Sunday at the Rolex Shanghai Masters, where he saved one match point to defeat Andrey Rublev 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(8).

In a heavy-hitting final, the Pole used his booming serve to great effect in key moments. He fired 21 aces, won 81 per cent (57/70) of his first-serve points and hung tough deep in the third set, saving one championship point at 5/6 in the third-set tie-break before converting on his fourth opportunity to earn his second Top 10 win of the season after two hours and nine minutes.

“It was such a battle,” Hurkacz said. “Especially emotionally. I had a match point and Andrey hit an amazing serve and then he had a match point and then I had some match points. It was back and forth and such a tricky match. Andrey was playing some great shots. I was trying to respond. It was one of those matches and I kept believing and I am super happy with how I managed at the end.

“It is such a big tournament and so much tradition. It is a huge event and I am really happy now.”

The 26-year-old has now captured seven tour-level titles, with his triumph in Shanghai his second ATP Masters 1000 triumph. He also lifted the trophy in Miami in 2021, defeating Jannik Sinner in the final.

With his 39th win of the season, Hurkacz improved to 3-2 in the pair’s Lexus ATP Head2Head series, while he propelled himself to 11th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. He is just 335 points behind Holger Rune, who currently occupies the all-important eighth position. Hurkacz is aiming to make his second appearance at the Nitto ATP Finals, having qualified in 2021.

Rublev was chasing his second Masters 1000 title after winning in Monte-Carlo in April. The 25-year-old, who did not drop a set en route to the final, is fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin.

In a dramatic match in Shanghai, both played with destructive power. Hurkacz won 90 per cent (18/20) of his first-serve points in the first set to control his service games and hammered a forehand winner in the sixth game of the opener to claim the decisive break.

Rublev was able to get the first strike in rallies in the second set, though, hitting his flat groundstrokes to good effect as he blasted 16 winners to force a decider.

With little to separate them, Rublev saved one match point on serve at 4-5 before he raced to a 5/2 lead in the third-set tie-break. Hurkacz refused to go away, however, finding consecutive aces before forcing Rublev into an error to level at 5/5. Hurkacz then saved a match point at 5/6, before he converted on his fourth chance to earn his biggest win of the season.

Hurkacz is the sixth player this season to save at least one match point en route to winning a tour-level title. The Pole also achieved the feat in Marseille in February, saving one match point in the quarter-finals against Mikael Ymer.

Did You Know?
Hurkacz holds a 7-1 record in tour-level finals, with his only defeating coming in the Montreal championship match in 2022 to Pablo Carreno Busta.

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