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Hurkacz captures last ATP Finals spot

As expected, with the season coming to an end in a few week’s time, a number of things are decided during the Rolex Paris Masters and this year is no exception as Hubert Hurkacz captures the final place in the prestigious Nitto ATP Finals which start a week on Sunday.

It feels incredible. Obviously going to Turin is a dream. Growing up as a kid, seeing all those top guys playing in the Finals, it’s inspiring. Hubert Hurkacz

The 24-year-old became the last player to qualify for the eight-man field in Turin following his 6-2 6-7(4) 7-5 victory over Aussie James Duckworth and is the first from Poland to reach the end-of-season extravaganza being staged in Turin after a very successful 10 years at the O2 in London.

“It feels incredible. Obviously going to Turin is a dream,” Hurkacz said. “Growing up as a kid, seeing all those top guys playing in the Finals, it’s inspiring. Now being among them, it’s very special because it’s just eight spots there, so it’s not that easy to get there.”

Consequently, Britain’s Cameron Norrie’s bid for qualification fails for this year but he will still be travelling to Turin as the 2nd Alternate behind Italy’s Jannik Sinner who has withdrawn from next week’s ATP’s Next Gen Finals for 21-&-Under players in Milan where he topped the Leader Board.

Hurkacz will have a taste of what is to come in Turin when he takes on the world No.1 Novak Djokovic for a place in this week’s Masters event, the last of the season, following the Serb’s 6-4 6-3 win over American Taylor Fritz.

Novak Djokovic unhappy at not closing out the sets earlier

Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The score line would indicate a comfortable victory for the Serbian who later revealed he wasn’t that happy with his performance.

“I am pleased with the way I played against Fucsovics (in the second round) but today I did have ups and downs. I am not really pleased with the way I closed out the sets. I lost my serve to love, then 5-3, again, I served for it with new balls and lost to love again.,” Djokovic said

“Those kind of things shouldn’t happen, I know that. I backed myself up with good returns and read Taylor’s serve very well to get into rallies. I closed out the last couple of service games well and that’s a positive.”

The Serb is now close to wrapping up the year-end top spot which is being threatened by the world No.2 Daniil Medvedev who continues to press him by also reaching the last four following his 7-6(7) 6-4 victory over the French qualifier Hugo Gaston who in turn has qualified for the Next Gen Finals starting on Tuesday (November 9).

Daniil Medvedev maintains the pressure on the world No.1

Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Image

The first set proved a closely run thing with the crowd well behind their player who unfortunately for them, failed to convert a set point he held when leading the Russian 5-4.

“You need to try to win no matter what. Even when it is against me, I think, ‘Well, I will try to beat my opponent and the crowd’ because there is no other choice. I am kind of happy about myself, but it was definitely a high-level match,” Medvedev admitted.

His win pitches him up against Alexander Zverev in what must be the match of the week if not the semi-finals.

The German world No.4 eased past Norway’s Casper Ruud 7-5 6-4 for his 28th victory in his last 30 matches.

“I thought he served extremely well today which made it very difficult to break,” Zverev said. “I’m happy with the win and to be in the semi-finals.”

Currently Zverev leads Medvedev 5-4 but the Russian has won their last three meetings which includes wins in the US Open final, the ATP Cup last January and perhaps more interestingly, in last year’s Paris Masters Final plus the 2020 ATP Finals.

Alexander Zverev hopes to stop his run of losses to Daniil Medvedev.

Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images



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