In one of most surprising Masters final in years, Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz will battle Sunday for the Miami title.
During the afternoon, Sinner rallied from a set down to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to reach his biggest career final.
The 19-year-old Italian was cool and calm despite playing in his first Masters semifinal. The Spaniard. tough, was en route to his second Masters final leading by a set and holding three break points on Sinner’s serve at 3-3, 0-40.
Sinner again was down in the third, this time by a break before coming back.
“I just tried to stick into there because, you know, when you go 4-3 down with break, it’s never easy to come back,” said Sinner of that second set moment. “Is always possible to come back obviously, but, you know, I just tried to sticking to there. I didn’t serve that well in this game, but I think the rallies I played I played in the right way. I went twice to the net.”
At just 19, Sinner is the youngest Miami finalist since 19-year-old Novak Djokovic won this title in 2007.
“I think it’s nice to play finals here in Miami, but, you know, as I say, it doesn’t mean anything, you know, that you are going to win other tournaments,” Sinner said. “I mean, the road is long. I know it. My team knows that.
Obviously it can be a great week for me. It is a great week for me. But, you know, the work has to go on. Obviously, as I said, it’s nice but, you know, it doesn’t mean anything.”
Bautista Agut was impressed by the youngster.
“Of course he’s good,” Bautista Agut. “Both matches have the feeling I could won on both times but finally I didn’t, no? I think he has something special in tough moments.
“Today I had chances on the second set, chances on the third set, but, well, he’s a great player, great competitor, and I will try to beat him the next time.”
Sinner will meet fellow first-timer and good friend Hubert Hurkacz who authored an even biggest upset stunning the heavily-favored Andrey Rublev 6-3, 6-4.
The Pole broke Rublev three times and never dropped serve, saving all three break points he faced in the third set.
“It means a lot, especially after winning a title at the beginning of the year, I had a couple of rough matches,” Hurkacz told the evening crowd. “So I’m so happy that I came over and I was still trying to improve my game and trying to be a better player. This is really huge for me.”
Rublev has been king of the 500s, but has yet to take the next big step.
“Been it’s great week for me,” Rublev said. “I did my first semis. That I’m playing really consistent every week I go deep in the tournament.
“Today was not my day. Hurkacz play really well and he deserve to win. That’s it. Not much to say more. Now it’s time to go back to work hard to be ready for the clay season.”
And the nerves are an issue for the Russian.
“Today was more about me that I couldn’t handle the pressure,” Rublev added. “I couldn’t handle the emotions. So was more about this. I was not, yeah, like I said, I wasn’t playing that aggressive. I was not taking that forehand that often like I’m doing. I was not putting that pressure.
“So he was the one who was dictating more. I think for sure he have more winners than me. So he was better. He was better today, and that’s why he deserve to win. Simple.”
With the biggest title of their career on the line, it will be an interesting battle in the final between two friends who played doubles together last month.
“Jannik is a great person,” Hurkacz said. “I think like it’s super, super calm and super chill, and also he’s good person. So, I mean, he’s really nice guy and he really like wants it hard to compete to win. He’s really, really great guy. The results that he have is obviously because of his hard work.”
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