Note to other players on the ATP tour, if you want to beat Hubert Hurkacz, do it before he reaches a tournament final. After defeating Andrey Rublev 6-3 3-6 7-6(8) in the Rolex Shanghai Masters final on Sunday, the Pole is now 7-1 when he reaches a tournament final with his only loss Pablo Carreno Busta in the Canada Open in 2022. Hurkacz’s latest final victim, Rublev, has nothing to be ashamed of, however, as the two players played brilliant tennis in an instant classic.
Once again at the Shanghai Masters, Hurkacz served excellently as he had 21 aces in the final and zero double faults. He landed 75 percent of his first serves and won 81 percent of those points. When someone with a serve as big as Hurkacz serves that well, the other player is going to have to do special things to keep the match close.
And Rublev did. Rublev’s booming forehand was working well most of the match, especially in the second set when he had 16 winners alone. Rublev also got a break off Hurkacz which was only the third time the Pole had been broken all tournament.
Hubert Hurkacz takes the title at the Rolex Shanghai Masters
In the third set tie-break, Rublev even got off to a 5-2 lead before two more fantastic Hurkacz serves and an unforced error by Rublev even the tie-break. The back-and-forth kept going until Hurkacz finally put the match (and the tournament) away with a 10-8 victory in the tie-set.
Hurkacz will now move to No. 11 when the new ATP rankings are released Monday. He sits just 335 points behind Holger Rune who is No. 8. That’s important in the race to the Nitto ATP Finals in November as the top 8 players will make it into the year-end tournament. Hurkacz made the ATP Finals in 2021 as well.
Rublev, of course, is fairly firmly entrenched in the top 8 and will be heading to the ATP Finals as well. Maybe he and Hurkacz will play there and give us another classic as they did in the Shanghai Masters final.