Pole Star shines bright in Shanghai as Hurkacz beats Rublev in thriller to win second ATP Masters title

The Pole climbs to 11th position in the Race to Turin after winning his seventh ATP singles title

Hubert Hurkacz of Poland kisses his winning trophy after defeating Andrey Rublev in Shanghai Hubert Hurkacz of Poland kisses his winning trophy after defeating Andrey Rublev – © Andy Wong/AP/SIPA
Rolex Shanghai Masters •Final • completed
See draw

As fiery and temperamental Andrey Rublev is, his opponent across the net in the final of the Shanghai Masters, Hubert Hurkacz, remained just as cool and composed. After a two-hour, six-minute battle which went down to a final set tiebreak, the Pole came through to win 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 to lift his second ATP Masters Series title.

Hubert, who had only one title to his credit in 2023 (Marseille), started the match better, breaking the Russian’s serve in the sixth game of the match and held on to that break to win the first set 6-3, making it the first set that Rublev had dropped in this tournament.

Rublev, currently next in line to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin, fought back immediately, breaking the Pole in the second game of the second set. The Russian did not face a single break point against his serve as held on to win the set 6-3 and force a decider.

Drama late in the third set as Federer watches from the stands

In the third set, there was an early break point for Rublev in the third game, but Hurkacz managed to save it. Both players held their service games as they match inched to a third set tiebreak but there was plenty of drama, even as two-time champion Roger Federer watched on from the stands.

Serving while trailing 5-4, 30-30, Rublev appeared distracted as a photographer walked in the middle of the point which the Russian lost, leading Rublev let out a loud scream in the photographer’s direction which earned him a code violation from the chair umpire. The Russian managed to save that first match point with an ace and then began the third set tiebreak on a positive note, getting a mini-break and going up 3-0.

This time, it was the Pole who fought back to level the tiebreak at 5-5 and saved a match point with an ace while trailing 6-5. From there, Hurkacz kept the pressure up on Rublev, earning a second match point at 7-6, a third at 8-7 and a fourth at 9-8, the last of which he finally won to claim the title.

The win improves Hurkacz’s record over his rival to 3-2, avenging the last two losses he suffered at the hands of the Russian. It also marked his seventh ATP singles title, improving to 7-1 in ATP finals. The win improves his record to 2-6 against top 10 players in 2023, and overall, to 16-26 during his career.

The Pole also hit 21 aces in the final, taking his total for the tournament to 98 and the win gives Hurkacz’s chances of qualifying for the ATP Finals in Turin a major boost. He climbs to 11th position after the win, while Rublev climbs back to No 5 in the world rankings and remains a front-runner to claim one of the four remaining berths.

People in this post

Your comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *