Friday, January 21Sports News Portal

Tennis

POLISH POWER! HURKACZ & MAJCHRZAK SEND POLAND INTO ATP CUP SEMIS

Poland is proving powerful at this year’s ATP Cup. Hubert Hurkacz and Kamil Majchrzak finished a perfect 3-0 run through Group D on Wednesday by defeating Argentina to send their country into the semi-finals in Sydney.

Hurkacz clinched the tie for Poland with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-4 win against Diego Schwartzman. The 2021 Nitto ATP Finals competitor saved all three break points he faced to triumph after one hour and 21 minutes.

“So happy for our team, for Team Poland. We’re in the semis, so super proud of that achievement,” Hurkacz said. “We’re a great team. We have great team spirit. We support each other. I think the atmosphere that we bring helps us play better.”

The 24-year-old came out firing from the start of the match, using his big serve and staying on top of the baseline to prevent Schwartzman from finding any rhtyhm. Later in the clash, the Argentine began to dig into rallies, but Hurkacz had too much firepower. He earned the deciding break in the second set by manoeuvring his opponent from the baseline before swooping into the net for a forehand drop volley winner.

“He fights for every ball. I had a couple of chances, but he was playing pretty solid points during that break points,” Hurkacz said. “You knew you have to put up something, you have to play a great shot to beat him.”

Hurkacz and Majchrzak, who defeated Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(3) at No. 2 singles, have dropped just one set in singles this week. Poland will play the winner of Group A on Friday evening.

“Super proud of Kamil. That’s the biggest win in his career. It’s great in the beginning of the year. He for sure did an amazing preseason and super proud of him,” Hurkacz said. “The way he competed today, the way he was resilient, even though he was a break up, then he got broken back. But he still kept being positive and fighting.”

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One of the best weeks of Majchrzak’s career has come at the perfect time for Poland. The 25-year-old moved to 3-0 at the 2022 ATP Cup on Wednesday with his win against Delbonis, who is ranked 73 places higher.

“It was very difficult. Everyone could see it. I was twice a break up in the second set and I couldn’t close the match,” Majchrzak said. “It was very connected with the emotions and with the big fight of Federico. It was a very difficult game from the beginning until the end. It was a very intense match and I’m very happy that at the end I managed to win the last point.”

Majchrzak is currently No. 117 in the ATP Rankings, but he showed no fear of World No. 44 Delbonis. He took the action to the Argentine, winning 47 per cent of his return points in his one-hour, 45-minute triumph.

“I’m trying not to look at the rankings. I was trying to look at Federico and make my plan and make my game to [find] the best possible way to beat him,” Majchrzak said. “I managed to do it. I was watching his matches, so I was ready. My ranking maybe is out of the Top 100, but I feel like I belong in the Top 100 and more, so I’m going for it now.”

Szymon Walkow and Jan Zielinski completed a 3-0 sweep for Poland with a 7-6(4), 7-6(5) victory against Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni.

Argentina will finish this year’s ATP Cup with a 2-1 record, but will not advance to the semi-finals.

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