Miami, April 5
With the Big Three absent at the Miami Open, and the next generation in tennis scrambling to fill the void, it was Hubert Hurkacz of Poland who made a breakthrough.
The 24-year-old Hurkacz won the biggest title of his career by beating 19-year-old Jannik Sinner of Italy 7-6 (4), 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Hurkacz improved to 10-0 in Florida this year, including the Delray Beach title in January. Ranked 37th, he is projected to climb to a career-high 16th in next week’s rankings.
The matchup in the final was a surprise even though Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer skipped the tournament, as did reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem.
Hurkacz eliminated No. 2-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas and No. 4 Andrey Rublevbeat — the first time he has beaten two top-10 opponents in the same tournament.
Hurkacz was poised early while playing his first final in the top-level ATP series, the Masters 1000. In the first set, he raced to a 3-0 lead, briefly fell behind and then played a solid tiebreaker, closing it out by winning a 25-stroke rally.
Sinner, playing in just his third Masters 1000 tournament, wobbled serving at 6-5 in the first set and was broken at love. He lost his serve twice more to fall behind 4-0 in the second set.
Hurkacz returned well and broke four times as he became Poland’s first Masters 1000 champion.
No. 1-ranked Ash Barty won her second successive Miami title Saturday when Bianca Andreescu retired in the final because of a foot injury while trailing 6-3, 4-0. — AP