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Hubert Hurkacz wins 3 1/2-hour match in Miami Open

Mar 13, 2023; Indian Wells, CA, USA;  Hubert Hurkacz (POL) hits a shot in his fourth round match against Tommy Paul (USA) during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

On a day when nine seeded players lost in the second round of the Miami Open, Hubert Hurkacz was notable for his survival on Saturday.

The eighth-seeded Hurkacz, of Poland, dodged five match points before defeating lucky loser Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia in three sets that all required tiebreakers: 6-7 (10), 7-6 (7), 7-6 (6).

At just over 3 1/2 hours, it was the longest three-set match of the calendar year. Hurkacz saved three match points in the second set tiebreaker and two more in the third.

“It’s tough to explain for me. I knew I was playing good tennis. I mean, Thanasi (was) as well. I was just trying to stay in there and compete, play some good shots. Either way, if I won or I lost — obviously I wanted to win so, so much — but either way, (I) should have been happy with myself,” Hurkacz said afterward.

In the third-set tiebreaker, Kokkinakis was serving for the match at 6-4, and he used a bending second serve that he appeared to think would clinch the match, but Hurkacz sent it up the line for a return winner. He said he expected that attempt from Kokkinakis, who used it earlier in the match.

“Just felt he was going to go for another one,” Hurkacz said. He won the next point on an ace and won the next two points, including another break of Kokkinakis to clinch the match.

The highest seed to go was No. 11 Cameron Norrie of Great Britain, beaten by Gregoire Barrere of France 6-3, 6-2.

Among the others ousted was No. 15 Alex de Minaur of Australia, who fell to Frenchman Quentin Halys in three tight sets, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (3), 7-6 (8).

Borna Coric of Croatia, seeded 17th, lost to a qualifier, American Christopher Eubanks, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. Also beaten by a qualifier was No. 27 Sebastian Baez of Argentina, who dropped straight sets to Chilean qualifier Cristian Garin 7-6 (2), 6-3.

Mackenzie McDonald of the U.S. took out the 19th seed, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, in two hard-fought sets, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (5). Another Italian, 18th-seeded Lorenzo Musetti, lost in straight sets to Jiri Lehecka of the Czech Republic, 6-4, 6-4.

No. 23 Daniel Evans of Great Britain was eliminated by Italian Lorenzo Sonego of Italy, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. In another three-set match, Alex Molcan of Slovakia defeated Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka, the No. 28 seed, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-2.

Adrian Mannarino of France knocked out American Ben Shelton, the No. 32 seed, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Having an easier time of it was No. 4 Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who lost only three games in winning in straight sets. Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime, the fifth seed, defeated Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro in straight sets, although both went to tiebreakers.

Other seeded players to win were No. 14 Karen Khachanov of Russia and Francisco Cerundolo of Argentina, the No. 25 seed.

–Field Level Media

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