Poland’s Hurkacz beats Italian teen Sinner to win Miami Open - GulfToday

Poland’s Hurkacz beats Italian teen Sinner to win Miami Open

Hubert Hurkacz

Hubert Hurkacz poses with his trophy after the final of the Miami Open in Miami Gardens, Florida, on Sunday. AFP

Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz defeated Italian teenager Jannik Sinner in straight sets to win the Miami Open and claim the first ATP Masters title of his career on Sunday.

The 26th-seeded Hurkacz, who had eliminated four higher-ranked players en route to the final, held his nerve at Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium to win 7-6 (7/4), 6-4 in 1hr 43min.

It was a deserved victory for the 24-year-old from Wroclaw, who claimed his second title of the season as Sinner’s challenge unravelled with a series of unforced errors.

Sinner had started slowly, being broken with his first service game to quickly find himself trailing 3-0 in the opening set.

However, the Italian broke back in the fifth game and then held to make it 3-3, before another break of Hurkacz’s serve gave him a 6-5 lead and the chance to serve for the set.

Sinner appeared to tighten on serve, though, and another unforced error, sending a backhand long, allowed Hurkacz to break back at 6-6 and force the tie break. Hurkacz quickly raced into a 6/2 lead in the decider and although Sinner clawed it back to 6/4, another missed forehand handed Hurkacz the first set.

Hurkacz carried that momentum into the second set, sprinting into a 4-0 lead with a double break.

With the match slipping away from him, Sinner rallied to pull the score back to 4-3 but was unable to break an increasingly jittery Hurkacz in the eighth game to leave the Pole 5-3 up.

After Sinner held for 5-4, Hurkacz once again benefited from unforced errors by his opponent at key times as he served for the championship.

An overhit forehand by Sinner set up match point, and on the next point the Italian’s attempted forehand down the line drifted wide to seal Hurkacz’s win.

Meanwhile, Bianca Andreescu climbed three places to sixth in the WTA rankings on Monday, following her run to the final where she lost to Ashleigh Barty, who remains the world number one.

Andreescu, a 20-year-old Canadian who was forced to retire in the second set in Miami after turning her ankle, is approaching her best ranking since winning the 2019 US Open when she reached fourth.

Barty, who retained her title in Florida, shrugged off criticism of her continued presence at number one on Saturday, saying “I thoroughly deserve my spot at the top of the rankings”.

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