Italy’s Jannick Sinner the no. 21 seed faced Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz the 26th seed for the Miami Masters 1000 title. It would be the first title at that level for the winner.
The first set would be decided by a tiebreaker after Sinner was not able to serve it out at 6-5.
Sinner mishit a forehand to go down 4-2 in the tiebreaker. Another error saw Hurkacz with two serves to take the first set.
A well placed first serve setup a set point, he looked to have taken the set but hit just long.
Sinner save a second set point with a deep backhand that forced an error.
A long rally took place at 4-6 and it was Sinner that cracked when he hit a forehand wide to concede the opening set.
The Pole broke in the first game of the second set to move closer to collecting his first Masters trophy and the first for a male Polish player.
Hurkacz would hold to consolidate the early break.
A backhand into the net by Sinner gave the Pole two more break points for a 3-0 lead.
Hurkacz needed just one as he moved his way to the net and hit a volley that Sinner was not able to get back.
The title looked likely to be won by the Pole after he held to love for a 4-0 lead.
Unforced errors were hurting the Italian and he faced another break point at 30-40. He would save that before another error gave Hurkacz another look. The Pole would miss wide to lose that opportunity.
A shot over the baseline gave Sinner the Ad, he would hold serve after a Sinner shot that was close to the baseline was hit long by Hurkacz, the world no. 37.
A little loss in concentration by the Pole saw Sinner holding two break points at 15-40 in the sixth game. More power hitting from Sinner forced an error and he broke. It was now 2-4.
The world no. 31 was now on a roll as he held serve to love to see Hurkacz serving next at 4-3, still up a break.
The Pole got back on track with a hold for 5-3. A sinner hold that followed forced Hurkacz to serve for the championship.
Sinner just missed a down the line shot that would have been a winner to see Hurkacz win the opening point.
Some powerful groundshots from the Pole set himself up for a volley that he hit into the open court.
An unforced error from Hurkacz when he hit into the net saw the score at 30-15, it was 30-30 after the Pole hit long. The pressure was mounting.
A forehand long by Sinner saw his opponent with a match point. It took just one after Sinner missed a forehand wide.
It was an unexpected champion, but well deserved.
Hurkacz jumps 21 places to no. 16 in the rankings, Sinner is at no. 23 after a jump of eight places.
“Last year I spent here almost half a year,” Hurkacz said in an on-court interview. “I was practising in the hottest weather during the spring and summer here, so I think that helped me a lot playing now in Florida, especially in these pretty tough conditions here, because it was a little bit slow here. The wind was blowing from side to side sometimes, so it’s huge.”
“Well, I made some unforced errors. I made a few or a couple of mistakes in the tie-break. Then I was not serving well, especially in the beginning of the second set, and not returning deep enough,” Sinner said.