Rising Polish star Hubert Hurkacz says practising with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic earlier this year was a "worthy lesson." After winning it all at the Canberra Challenger, Hurkacz phoned coach Marian Vajda -- who arranged the Pole a practice session with Djokovic at Melbourne Park.
Hurkacz, 22, was targeting to have a good Australian Open debut but fell just short of winning his first main draw match at Melbourne Park. 40-year-old Karlovic used all of his big experience to edge out the 22-year-old in the Australian Open first round 6-7 (5) 7-6 (5) 7-6 (3) 7-6 (5).
"Marian is a great man. He organised for me to practise with Novak. I am grateful for this opportunity because I could see how far I am to be a fantastic player," Hubert exclusively told Grand Slam Tennis magazine.
"Nole showed me why he is world No. 1 and why he collected 15 Grand Slam titles in singles. He didn't give you any free points. I can hit a ball really clean, but not as regular as a perfectionist from Serbia. "Nole is so hilarious which I also like, because I don't like a huge pressure on my shoulders.
It was a worthy lesson." Hurkacz, who is enjoying his career-high ranking of No. 67 in the world, continued his rise at the BNP Paribas Open. The Pole reached the Indian Wells Masters quarter-final, before he lost to former world No. 1 Roger Federer. The 22-year-old is expected to enter the top-55 when the list gets updated on Monday.