Hubert Hurkacz’s commanding serve could be the defining factor in the Rolex Shanghai Masters. On a thrilling Saturday, the 16th-seeded Pole showcased a masterful serving performance, defeating Sebastian Korda with a resounding 6-3, 6-4 score.
Throughout the match, Korda couldn't find a solution to Hurkacz's impenetrable serve, as the latter didn't concede a single break point. This commanding serve not only fortified Hurkacz's defense but amplified his offense, enabling him to break Korda once in each set, culminating in a swift 77-minute victory.
Expressing his satisfaction, Hurkacz stated, “I'm elated with how I played today. My serve was on point, my groundstrokes effective, and I constantly kept Sebi on his toes”. This recent victory doesn't just edge Hurkacz closer to his potential second Masters 1000 trophy, but it also amplifies his momentum towards the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals.
Currently ranked 13th in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin, a victory against either Andrey Rublev or Grigor Dimitrov in the Shanghai final could elevate him to the 11th spot.
Hurkacz Overpowers Korda
Sebastian Korda's journey to the semi-finals was remarkable, marked by victories against tennis titans like Daniil Medvedev and a nail-biting match against Ben Shelton.
But at the Qizhong Forest Sports City Arena, Korda’s versatile gameplay faltered against Hurkacz's strategic prowess. Hurkacz's skill on the court was evident as he delivered shots with astounding pace and accuracy. He overwhelmed Korda, firing 14 aces and continually thwarting Korda's return attempts with strategically-placed serves.
Reflecting on his performance, Hurkacz mentioned, "I'm striving to be a challenging opponent. Every adversary brings their A-game and strategy. It's imperative to remain mentally tenacious." This win marks Hurkacz’s entry into his third consecutive Masters 1000 final.
After a Miami win in 2021 and making it to the finals in Montreal in 2022, a win against either the fifth-seeded Rublev or the 18th-seeded Dimitrov would mean securing his seventh ATP Tour title. The tennis community waits in anticipation for what promises to be a riveting championship match.