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Big-serving Hurkacz holds off Bonzi to win title in Marseille

The Pole saved three set points in the second set before winning his first title of 2023 and the sixth of his career

Hubert Hurkacz, Marseille 2023 Hubert Hurkacz, Marseille 2023 – © Corinne Dubreuil – Open 13

Top seed Hubert Hurkacz notched his first title of 2023 – and the sixth of his career – as he beat home favourite Benjamin Bonzi 6-3, 7-6 (4) to win the Open 13 Provence in Marseille.

World No 11 Hurkacz hit 19 aces and saved three set points in the second set to win a title in France for the second time in his career.

Bonzi, who was appearing in his second ATP Tour final, having finished runner-up in Pune earlier this year, fought valiantly in the second set but Hurkacz held firm under pressure to wrap up the title.

“Super happy today,” Hurkacz said. “Congrats to Benjamin, he played really well, I think he deserved to win the second set but I tried to fight as hard as I could.

“I think my game’s getting better. Super happy with the way I competed today. I was able to come up with some big serves and big shots at the important moments.”

Hurkacz starts in style

Hurkacz began strongly, breaking serve for 3-1 against a nervous-looking Bonzi. But the Frenchman, who lives and trains in Marseille, soon settled and he broke back for 3-4 when he forced an error from the Pole’s forehand.

But the French crowd’s joy was short-lived as Hurkacz immediately broke serve again and he made no mistake as he served out the opening set.

Bonzi fightback is in vain

Bonzi had to dig deep to stay with Hurkacz in the second set, the Pole serving well and threatening on returns.

Ay 3-4, Bonzi faced two break points, but saved them both, the first with a drive volley winner and the second with a fine forehand.

The Frenchman had a half-chance at 5-4, 0-30 on the Hurkacz serve but the Pole came up with four big first serves to get himself out of trouble. Two games later, he threatened again and had three set points, only for Hurkacz to stand firm, with two forehands, sandwiched by an ace, saving his skin.

In the tiebreak, Bonzi made a hash of the opening point and Hurkacz took full advantage. Though Bonzi hit back from 5-2 down to 5-4, Hurkacz played a beautiful serve and volley point and then sealed the win when Bonzi’s forehand flew just wide.

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