Hubert Hurkacz is there to oppose, to show that despite the slowness of the Shanghai court, a tournament in slow motion, a gunner like him can finally win the day. The Pole triumphs this Sunday by beating the Russian Andrey Rublev 6-3, 3-6 and 7-6 (8), in 2h 33m, and raises the second Masters 1000 of his career after the one obtained two years ago in Miami , also on cement. Good-natured guy, he raises the trophy, mixing a smile with that characteristic gesture between humility and shyness, and previously he has given a heartfelt hug to his rival, who before the frame was punishing her thighs with rackets for the lost opportunity. Rublev is a tennis player of magnificent conditions and at the same time gelatinous; As soon as he twists the script a little and the person opposite puts the spoon a little into that brittle mind, he tends to fall apart.
The tour of Asia closes with an unexpected champion, since the spotlight pointed to three names beforehand. But this is tennis and this is October, so anything can happen. The record does not include Daniil Medvedev, the best of the course on a fast track and who came out against all odds in the second season of the tournament; nor to Carlos Alcaraz, defeated by the best version of Grigor Dimitrov in the quarterfinals; Jannik Sinner didn’t even take advantage of the great momentum he had from Beijing, where the Italian beat the Spaniard and won the prize after also beating the Russian. Nothing at all, no favorites. In Shanghai, the one who lies down with the spirit of a child and poses with the trophy is the giant Hurkacz, lanky like himself. A cannonball champion. There are 98 aces throughout these two weeks, 21 of them in the epilogue.
He completes the work of these days after a fluctuating duel with the unstable Rublev, the Russian overwhelmed at the beginning, then recovered and ultimately condemned by those nerves and that deficit of confidence that prevent him from taking a higher leap and thinking about greater heights. He has 14 trophies, no small record, but once again he gives in on a bigger stage and falls for the third time in the outcome of a 1000. He won this year in Monte Carlo and it was thought that, perhaps, the prestigious victory in the Principality would It would definitely help to break the corset and scare away the demons little by little. But not even for those. They are all there, alive and well around him. The one from Moscow – 25 years old and today fifth best in the world – is still locked in that internal battle. After doing the difficult thing, balancing the match after enduring the avalanche, he falls apart after missing two or three seemingly simple shots in the final tiebreaker, in which he also had a match point.
On the fourth attempt he rounds out his opponent, Hurkacz, a player with limited registration but who always represents a threat on cement. He is not a virtuoso, but if he is inspired with the serve he is not only capable of overcoming difficulties, but also of making his way and capturing posh trophies. With his second Masters 1000, the man from Wrocław becomes the seventh active tennis player to have more than one in individual form, according to the ATP. The Pole, 26 years old and eleventh on the world list as of tomorrow, appears in the tertiary plane of a photo in which banners of the likes of Alcaraz (4), Alexander Zverev (5), Medvedev (6), Andy Murray (14), Rafael Nadal (36) and, of course, Novak Djokovic (39), also the king of the miles. The Serbian observes these days relaxedly from the couch, sharpening his claws while waiting for the landing on the European indoor tour, in his case Paris-Bercy and the Turin Masters Cup.
“It has been a round trip,” describes the winner before the gaze of Roger Federer, present in one of the backgrounds, elegant even as the Swiss was sleeping. “Andrey has made big blows, but I have tried to respond to him. I kept the faith and I’m happy with how I handled the tie-break“, extends Hurkaz, who over these days has gotten rid of Thanasi Kokkinakis, Yu Hsiou Hsu, Zhang Zhizhen, Fabián Marozsán and Sebastian Korda before giving Rublev a good account. In this way, he succeeds Medvedev – winner in 2019, before the three subsequent cancellations due to the coronavirus – and enters fully into the fight to achieve a place for the season’s top eight event in Turin. , from November 12 to 19. The success in China leaves him just 335 points behind the Dane Holger Rune, eighth in the annual race; Casper Ruud (at 315) and Taylor Fritz (at only 145) are other candidates who have been running.
GRANOLLERS, CHAMPION IN DOUBLES
The doubles modality left good news this Sunday in Shanghai, where the Catalan Marcel Granollers and the Argentine Horacio Zeballos won the title by beating the Indian Rohan Bopanna and the Australian Matthew Ebden in the final by 5-7, 6-2 and 10 -7. In this way, both are in full force in the Masters 1000: they have won the five finals they have played so far. Before they celebrated in Montreal (2019), Rome (2020), Madrid and Cincinnati (2021).
The victory, the eighth they have won, practically guarantees their presence in the main event in Turin. Installed in the fourth position of the Race In pairs, the Spaniard and his partner are currently 1,500 points above the cutoff that grants the tickets.
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