Hurkacz hails Swiatek’s success: ‘It’s really nice to be Polish’

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Polish No.1 Hubert Hurkacz takes inspiration from his country’s greatest tennis champion Iga Swiatek as he heads to Wednesday’s final at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com.

Fourth-seeded Hurkacz didn’t lose a set all week, and his success continued against qualifier Christian Harrison with a narrow 7-6 (4), 6-4 win to reach his first final of the ATP circuit since 2019.

Although the game took place in a small town in South Florida, Hurkacz looked like he was at home. The stands were dotted with red and white flags as a small but vocal contingent of Polish fans braved the wet conditions to support him in his Delray Beach debut. The tournament offered limited participation in the 2021 edition (less than 25% capacity) to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

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“It’s amazing that I can represent Poland and also that the Poles come and support us to play,” said Hurkacz. “Whether it be [here in Delray Beach] or Sydney, Australia for the ATP Cup. So it’s really nice to be Polish.

After the match, Hurkacz also recognized fellow Polish tennis player Swiatek as “a huge inspiration” after the 19-year-old ended his country’s long wait for a Grand Slam singles champion last year in Roland Garros.

“What she did at Roland Garros was amazing and a huge inspiration,” he said. “It’s amazing what she did, win a Grand Slam without being seeded and play like she played. So it’s really inspiring for all of Poland what she has achieved.

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Hurkacz also hopes to emulate Swiatek’s global performance as he pursues his second TBEN trophy; The WTA world No.17 did not lose a set in her race in Paris, a feat Hurkacz is one game away from repeating in the ATP 250 event.

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“I congratulated her, but we didn’t meet in person after her success,” admitted Hurkacz. “But for sure I’ll talk to him at the Australian Open.”

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As he prepares to face Sebastian Korda for a Delray Beach trophy shot, Hurkacz hopes his solid performance will set him up for success in Melbourne. Ranked # 35 in the FedEx ATP rankings, Hurkacz is approaching a top spot in the first Grand Slam of the year.

“It sure can help me in the first few laps, because you know you are not going to face Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic], “he explained.” I hope that in the future I can be a little better, because you will face the best in the third round.

“But this is obviously a step forward. I want to play better and better. “

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