WASHINGTON, January 13, 2021 (by Michael Dickens)
Fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz’s run to the final of the ATP 250 Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com has seen him not lose a set all week, reminiscent of his steady play that earned him his first tour-level title two years ago when he won the 2019 Winston-Salem Open.
In reaching his second ATP Tour final, after ending the run of 789th-ranked American qualifier Christian Harrison with his 7-6 (4), 6-4 victory in one hour and 34 minutes Wednesday afternoon, the 35th ranked Hurkacz from Poland who turned pro in 2015 finds himself having arrived in the title match without having played anyone currently ranked in the ATP Top 100. He didn’t seem to mind and, after all, Hurkacz simply has played the draw he’s been dealt.
After a first-round bye, Hurkacz defeated No. 117 Daniel Elahi Galan of Colombia in the next round, 6-2, 6-2, then stopped 295th-ranked qualifier Roberto Quiroz from Ecuador 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals, which set up his semifinal clash with Harrison.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 12, 2021
“Very happy to win this match today,” Hurkacz, 23, a native of Wroclaw, said during his on-court interview after his win over Harrison. “I mean, Christian played pretty amazing throughout the whole tournament. he qualified here and had his best results on the ATP Tour. Especially after all he came through, all the surgeries, it’s really great for him. He played a really amazing match.”
With only one break point between the two, the first set would be settled with a tie-break, which Hurkacz prevailed in.“I didn’t have many opportunities in the first set,” he said. “Then it came to a tiebreaker, and he started really well but then I won these really long rallies. That helped me and helped me get some momentum. So, that was really crucial for the second set.”
Hurkacz pushed ahead on the strength his breaking Harrison’s serve to go ahead 4-3, but Harrison responded with a break of his own. However, Hurkacz broke again, this time at love, and won on his first match point.
Now, as Hurkacz pushes to get into the Top 30 and with the Australian Open looming, he’s back in the familiar territory of playing in an ATP 250 outdoor hard court final. He will face No. 119 Sebastian Korda of the United States, who reached his first ATP Tour-level final with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over 70th-ranked British No. 2 Cameron Norrie. The final promises to be a battle of tall heavy hitters. It will be the first meeting between Korda and Hurkacz.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) January 13, 2021
Although the 20-year-old Korda was unable to convert his first two match-point opportunities, he remained grounded and calmly closed out the win two games later after one hour and 22 minutes.
“I’m fired up right now, I couldn’t be happier,” Korda said during an on-court interview.
— Delray Beach Open (@DelrayBeachOpen) January 13, 2021
News & noteworthy
• Sebastian Korda, who won the 2018 Australian Open junior boys’ championship and won an ATP Challenger Tour title at Eckental, Germany last year, is the youngest to reach the Delray Beach Open final since 20-year-old Frances Tiafoe won the 2018 title. Norrie defeated Tiafoe in this year’s quarterfinal round.
• Nine players have made the Delray Beach Open their first career title, including 2019 titlist Radu Albot. If Korda beats Hurkacz, he would become the third American to win their first title at Delray Beach, joining Tiafoe (2018) and Todd Martin (1993).
Double trouble 🤜🤛
— USTA (@usta) January 13, 2021
Garin out of Australian Open
Cristian Garin, who was the No. 1 seed at the Delray Beach Open and lost in the second round to Christian Harrison 6-4, 6-2, wrote on Instagram that he would not be playing in this year’s Australian Open due to a left wrist sprain.
“I am very sad to report that a week ago I suffered a fall, which left me with a lot of pain in my left wrist (sprain),” wrote Garin. “It has been very difficult for me to play the last days and given the restrictions of the tour, they do not allow me to travel with my physiotherapist, which makes it impossible to find a good recovery. Unfortunately, I will not be able to play this year in Australia, which is something very difficult for me to accept. I hope to return in good condition and with the best energy for the tour in South America.”