Hubert Hurkacz has become the first Polish man to win a Masters 1000 title, beating Jannik Sinner to claim the Miami Open title.
Taking advantage of the absence of tennis’ ‘Big 3’, Hurkacz broke through for his first Masters 1000 crown on Sunday.
The 24-year-old won the biggest title of his career by beating 19-year-old Sinner of Italy 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in the final.
Hurkacz improved to 10-0 in Florida this year, including the Delray Beach title in January, and climbs to a career-high 16th in the world rankings.
“I was super happy I was able to lift the biggest trophy of my life so far,” Hurkacz said.
“I played some of the best tennis I ever played.”
The match-up in the final was a surprise even though Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer skipped the tournament, as did reigning US Open champion Dominic Thiem.
The likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev all failed to take advantage of the absence of the ‘Big 3’.
“We knew that Rafa, Roger, Novak, Thiem were not playing,” Sinner said.
“It was a big opportunity for many players.”
Hubert Hurkacz makes incredible tennis history
But it was Hurkacz who took full advantage.
Along the way he eliminated Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev – the first time he has beaten two top-10 opponents in a tournament.
In doing so, Hurkacz also became Poland’s first Masters 1000 champion.
“Hopefully with my game I can inspire some people in Poland,” he said.
The 196cm Pole returned well against Sinner, breaking serve four times, and came to the net at key moments.
“To win against Jannik, you need to come up with some really good stuff,” Hurkacz said.
“He’s an amazing player and has an amazing future.”