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Hubert Hurkacz stops top-seeded Daniil Medvedev in Miami semis

Mar 31, 2022; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Hubert Hurkacz (POL) hits a backhand against Daniil Medvedev (not pictured) in a men's singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Hubert Hurkacz continued his Miami Open winning streak on Thursday while thwarting top-seeded Daniil Medvedev’s bid to take the world’s No. 1 ranking.

The eighth-seeded Pole, who is the defending champion at Miami, beat Medvedev 7-6 (7), 6-3 in a quarterfinal match. Had Medvedev won, the Russian would have would regained the top rating that he lost to Serbia’s Novak Djokovic earlier this month.

Hurkacz’s semifinal opponent will be 14th-seeded Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who came from behind to beat Serbia’s Miomir Kecmanovic 6-7 (5), 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Hurkacz squandered two set points while serving at 5-3 in the first set. He needed three more set points in the tiebreaker before eventually prevailing.

In the second set, Hurkacz never faced a break point, and he converted two of his nine break opportunities.

“I think the return was crucial,” Hurkacz said postmatch. “I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long. It is good I was able to get some free points.

“I have spent a lot of time in Florida, so I am used to the humidity. I think the conditions were in my favor today, so I tried to use them.”

Hurkacz brings out his best in Miami. His lone career ATP Masters 1000 title came last year in this event. He has only been to one Grand Slam semifinal, at Wimbledon last summer, and one other ATP Masters 1000 semifinal, last November in Paris.

Medvedev, the reigning U.S. Open champion, has reached just one final this year, when he fell to Rafael Nadal for the Australian Open title.

Alcaraz rallied in the decisive tiebreaker against Kecmanovic after neither player had a break point in the third set. Kecmanovic was up 5-3 in the tiebreaker before losing the last four points.

Alcaraz, 18, is through to the semifinal of an ATP Masters 1000 event for the second time. His best Grand Slam result was a quarterfinal appearance at the U.S. Open last year. Alcaraz owns two career ATP Tour titles, with one of them coming last month in Rio de Janeiro.

“Carlos has been playing some amazing tennis this year, only played good matches I think, so that would be super tough (to beat him),” Hurkacz said.

–Field Level Media