Polish tennis star Hubert Hurkacz acknowledged that practicing in Florida for almost half a year in 2020 helped him during his run at this year's Miami Masters. Hurkacz, ranked at No. 37 in the world, handed a 7-6 (4) 6-4 loss to Jannik Sinner in the Miami final to lift his maiden Masters title and win the biggest title of his career.
Hurkacz got off to a strong start, having taken an early 3-0 first-set lead. However, Sinner refused to quit as he got a break back to force a tie-break -- in which the Pole realized his third set point to win a tight opener.
Hurkacz also made a strong start to the second set, having taken a 4-0 lead before serving out for the match in the 10th game. "Last year I spent here almost half a year,” Hurkacz said in an on-court interview, per the ATP website.
“I was practising in the hottest weather during the spring and summer here, so I think that helped me a lot playing now in Florida, especially in these pretty tough conditions here, because it was a little bit slow here.
The wind was blowing from side to side sometimes, so it’s huge”.
Sinner congratulated Hurkacz
"Hubi, many congratulations for this week and a half," said Sinner. "I think you showed what talent you have.
I’m more proud what kind of person you are. I have to say [you are] maybe my best friend on Tour. Maybe we should play more doubles together." Sinner got one break back in the second set but Hurkacz kept his focus when serving for the match in the 10th game.
“The balls felt slow when I went to serve,” Hurkacz said of the final game. “Obviously a tough point. You really want to get a couple of free points and Jannik’s an amazing returner. It was a tough game”.