Hurkacz Bounces Back to Reach Montreal Final

Hurkacz Bounces Back to Reach Montreal Final
Hubert Hurkacz opening his campaign in Montreal with victory over Emil Ruusuvuori (not pictured). August 9, 2022. Photo Courtesy: Mathieu Belanger/Tennis Canada.

Eight seed Hubert Hurkacz reaches his second ATP Masters 1000 final by defeating World No. 7 Casper Ruud on Saturday in Montreal.

Contesting his first semifinal on Canadian soil at tour level, World No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz came from a set down to prevail over the fourth seed Casper Ruud with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 win after two hours and two minutes on Court Central.

After the match, Hurkacz outlined: “Casper was playing really incredible tennis, and he was the better player at the beginning, especially for the first set and a half. I was trying to stay in the game and hold on to compete as good as I can.”

Adding: “Physically I feel good. I’ve been putting in a lot of work these past weeks. So far, so good!

The 25-year-old will face either Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta or Briton Daniel Evans in the battle for the title. Whoever wins the other semifinal matchup, a top-level championship match is guaranteed on Sunday.

Hurkacz vs. Ruud

The first semifinal of the day at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers was decided by small margins between two Top 10 players aiming to book a spot into the final in Montreal for the first time in their careers.

Serving well, the Pole set off strong, firing five aces in the first game of the opener, which he won, setting the tone of a highly competitive encounter.

The eighth seed would extend his early lead, securing a 3-0 advantage over his adversary after 10 minutes of play. But then, Ruud left aside the pressure to come back in style. The 23-year-old raised his level to narrow the gap 1-3, moving on to break Hurkacz’s serve, holding next to even the tie 3-3.

A double break would give the World No. 7 a crucial 6-5 lead; serving for the set, he emerged victorious, closing out 7-5 in 42 minutes.

The second set kicked off with Ruud jumping to produce an early break, fighting the Polish player’s powerful hitting from the baseline while displaying accuracy and consistency in his game.

However, a double break would bring the Wroclaw native back into contention, earning a 4-2 lead. Building from there, he rallied to stay ahead, succeeding when charging at the net, claiming a 6-3 victory to force a decider.

The 2021 Miami Open champion held his nerve when it mattered the most, rising to the occasion to quickly back up an early break over the Norwegian to open a 2-0 lead after winning a 22-shots rally.

Furthermore, he improved his return game significantly while continuing to serve well. Breaking twice gave him the confidence to edge his rival, closing the set 6-2 to advance into the second ATP Masters 1000 final of his career.

Overall, he hit 47 winners (18 aces), winning 81 percent of his first-service points while recording 19 unforced errors, converting five of eight break point opportunities.

Speaking to Tennis Canada, the champion in Halle stressed: “My path to the final wasn’t easy this week, and it wasn’t easier today. But I had a lot of fun playing singles and doubles, especially in front of the crowd that kept cheering me on.”

En route to the final he beat (all in three sets) Finn Emil Ruusuvuori, Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Australian Nick Kyrgios and Ruud.

Saturday night, Hurkacz hits back to court to play the doubles semifinal alongside countryman Jan Zielinski. They will face the duo formed by Evans and Australian John Peers.

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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