ATP Winston-Salem: Hubert Hurkacz wins first ATP title for Poland since..


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ATP Winston-Salem: Hubert Hurkacz wins first ATP title for Poland since..

In the battle of the 1st and 3rd seeds, the young Pole Hubert Hurkacz toppled Benoit Paire 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and nine minutes for the first ATP title. The 22-year-old from Wroclaw never played in the semi-final on the ATP Tour before this week and took the most from it in the last minute before the US Open, becoming the first ATP champion from Poland since Wojtek Fibak at WCT Chicago in 1982!

Hubert is also the 14th first-time winners this season, the most since 1999 when there were 16 of those, and the 19th player born after 1994 with an ATP crown under his belt. Paire broke the youngster four times from eight opportunities and gave serve away five times from 11 chances offered to Hubert who claimed six of the last eight games to travel to New York with the trophy.

Hurkacz broke first in the second game when Paire sent a forehand long, squandering the advantage in the next game when his forehand landed wide. The Frenchman missed a smash in the next game to suffer another break, trailing 3-1 and allowing Hubert to close the opener with a service winner in game nine for a 6-3 after 35 minutes.

Benoit hit a double fault in the third game of the second set to move Hubert in front for a game before pulling it back to level the score at 2-2, repelling three break chances in the next game to stay on the positive side of the scoreboard.

Nerves started to work for Hubert in the second part of the set, playing a loose forehand in the eighth game to sent the advantage to the other side of the court, with Paire sealing the set with an ace at 5-3 to set up a decider after some 75 minutes of play.

The rain started to fall in those moments, halting the action for some 15 minutes and causing the players to lose focus and open the final set with back-to-back breaks. Hurkacz broke at love in the sixth game to forge the advantage and the title was in his hands after an excellent hold at 5-3 for the first out of many ATP titles.