Arthur Fils' great sportsmanship cannot overcome Hubert Hurkacz sadness

In a well-played and tight second-round match between Hurkacz and Fils, one player was injured and one displayed great sportsmanship.
Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon 2024
Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon 2024 / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

On the point where it happened, the match was in the balance. Hubert Hurkacz was trying to win the fourth-set tie-break and was down a set. Arthur Fils was playing brilliantly, but Hurkacz was fighting back through excellent serving and his wonderous ability to move around the court well even though he is 6'5".

With the tie-break at 8-7 in favor of the Frenchmen, Fils hit a shot just over the net that Hurkacz dove for and managed to get back to Fils. The Frenchman had an open court but hit the ball into the net and Hurkacz got the tie-break back to deuce. On the point, Hurkacz bounced off the grass court and got up in anticipation that Fils' ball would go over the net, but Hurkacz was clearly hurt.

Instead of limping around a bit, the Pole immediately went back down the grass and sat there. Fils likely was not sure what was going on for a minute and might have thought Hurkacz was simply taking a quick break after winning a point he should not have. The Frenchman quickly realized his opponent was not able to get up, however.

Hubert Hurkacz forced to retire in second-round match against Arthur Fils at Wimbledon

Fils asked Hurkacz how he was and then walked around the net to where the Pole sat and helped Hurkacz to his feet. Fils then called for a physio. Hurkacz limped to his chair where he got some medical treatment and had his knee wrapped. What exactly the issue was, other than something with the knee, was unclear.

Hurkacz limped back onto the court and Fils seemingly intentionally did not make the Pole move much on the next point when the wisest, and perhaps cruelest, thing to have done was try to keep hitting cross-court winners. What was obvious was that Hurkacz was not going to be able to run much at all.

Raducanu knows tennis but not politics. Raducanu knows tennis but not politics. dark. Next

After losing a point to fall behind 8-9, Hurkacz decided to retire. Risking whatever was going on with his leg to further injury would have been a mistake. Fils then walked over to Hurkacz and had a long discussion with him. In the end, Hurkacz seemed to be consoling Fils because the Frenchman clearly did not want to win because his opponent was injured. Both players proved to be all class at the end of the match.

Fils is now into the third round at Wimbledon for the first time. The hope for Hurkacz is that he is not too hurt.

More tennis news and analysis: