There are 'NextGen' players who need to take the next step in their career and one of them is Hubert Hurkacz. The Polish player, just 22 years old, has already scheduled his calendar during the first three months of the 2020 season.
His first tournament of the new campaign will be the ATP Cup, where he will command his country in the new tournament promoted by Tennis Australia. For the first time in his career, Hurkacz reached the third round of a Grand Slam.
At Wimbledon 2019, he defeated Dušan Lajović and Leonardo Mayer to set up a third-round match with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic. For two sets, Hurkacz gave Djokovic all he could handle before eventually succumbing to the top seed in four sets.
In a new entry in Behind the Racquet's photo-essay series, Hurkacz talked about his career: “I grew up in Poland. I truly enjoyed my childhood back then, playing basketball and a little gymnastics. I was pretty busy for a kid, after school, I would start with individual lessons followed by more group practice.
My love for tennis came from my mother. She used to play all the time and became a national champion. Funny enough I fell in love with the discipline required by a tennis player. As I was playing junior tournaments, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
There were definitely times when I was young where I questioned if I was good enough or if I could make it. You just don’t know what to expect or what you’ll encounter. There is always something new to learn and always a player better than you, so it is a must to constantly improve.
For some, it may seem strange that I am working with an American coach but it just clicks. The knowledge that he brings to the table has been crucial to my development and a different voice than I have had before. You sometimes have to look outside of your own country to get a unique voice and different perspective.
I guess I have just been lucky to have people around me that push the boundaries of thinking. I honestly don’t spend much time thinking about life after tennis or what I will do. This is basically my first year on tour, so I am trying to enjoy each and every tournament and continue to get better.
I do try to focus my mind solely on tennis but sometimes being stuck on one thing doesn’t work out. There are more than a few times where you have to reset your mind. As of now, early in my career, there are enough things I need to organize, so that is taking up most of my thoughts.
I hope Federer has a few more years in him to help improve the sport of tennis. What he has done for tennis has been amazing. I can only hope there will be some more players like him that will affect the sport. I am doing what I can to make the sport just a little bit better, even if it is just through great sportsmanship right now”.