Hubert Hurkacz moved to within two wins of retaining his Miami Open presented by Itau title on Thursday as he ended Daniil Medvedev’s World No. 1 bid in empathic fashion on Hard Rock Stadium.
In a tight quarter-final battle, the Pole produced an intense and aggressive performance against Medvedev as he clubbed his groundstrokes and finished points at the net to triumph 7-6 (7), 6-3 in two hours and two minutes.
The south Florida sun brings the best out of Hurkacz, with the eighth seed now 10-0 at the tournament since 2021, having captured his maiden ATP Masters 1000 crown in Miami last year. This week, the 25-year-old has eliminated Arthur Rinderknech, Aslan Karatsev, Lloyd Harris and Medvedev, with his quarter-final win over the top seed leveling their ATP Head2Head series at 2-2.
“I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long, ”Hurkacz said on his on-court interview. “It is good I was able to get some free points.
“I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favor today, so I tried to use them. “
Medvedev spent three weeks as the World No. 1 from 28 February to 21 March this year before he relinquished the spot to Novak Djokovic. Victory over Hurkacz would have moved Medvedev back to tennis’ summit on Monday.
However, the four-time Masters 1000 champion – who was aiming to reach the semi-finals in Miami for the first time – never found top gear against Hurkacz as he struggled to fully impose his baseline game on the Pole.
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Hurkacz will play either #NextGenATP Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz or Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the last four as he aims to win his first trophy of the season. The World No. 10 clinched three tour-level crowns in 2021. But his best result of him this year before Miami was a run to the semi-finals in Dubai.
“Carlos has been playing some amazing tennis this year, only played good matches I think, so that would be super tough,” Hurkacz said. “But Kecmanovic played some super tennis in Indian Wells and he is now backing that up here in Miami. It will be interesting. “
It is just the second time Hurkacz has defeated a Top 2 opponent, with his other win coming against then-World No. 2 Medvedev at Wimbledon in July.
In an entertaining first set, Hurkacz flew into a 3-0 lead as he pulled Medvedev from corner to corner with his heavy ball striking. From 5-2 ahead and seemingly in control though, the World No. 2 showed everybody why he is a 13-time tour-level champion as he hit with greater depth to force a more nervy Hurkacz into errors.
However, the 25-year-old recomposed himself and edged a tight tie-break, receiving a slice of luck at 7/7 when his mis-hit forehand dropped awkwardly at the feet of Medvedev, who could only hit his half-volley long .
Hurkacz continued to play aggressively at the start of the second set as he pressurized Medvedev with deep returns. In a mammoth fifth game, the Pole fired the ball into the corners, stayed patient and eventually gained the break on his sixth break point of the game. He then powered through his final service games and broke a tiring Medvedev again to seal his standout win.