Who would have thought that by the time the Miami Master final arrived, the two players left to contest it, would never have been single out as title contenders at the start of the event.
Two weeks ago we played in Dubai, we had a tough one there. Today it was not easy to play, because it was windy. I am very happy about reaching the final here in Miami. I tried to play my game. I just tried to make my game, tried to move him a little bit. Yannik Sinner
All the initial favourites having been eliminated at various stages, the final will pitch a young unseeded teenager from Italy against a Pole seeded 20, both players having successfully fought past much higher rated opposition to have the chance to win the biggest title of their careers.
The pair about to make Miami history are Jannik Sinner and Humbert Hurkacz, two players who have not only surprised the tennis fraternity but to some extent, themselves.
Sinner for instance, has become the first teenager in 14 years to reach the Miami Open final after a rousing victory over the seventh seed from Spain, Roberto Bautista Agut.
Like the majority of his previous matches, the 19-year-old from Italy had to come from behind before securing victory. In this case he had to recover from losing a tightish first set against one of the most consistent and solid baseline players on the planet to level the match, and then trailed 3-1 in the deciding set before winning five of the last six games to complete a 5-7 6-4 6-4 victory.
That was in the afternoon session and it was some hours later before he knew who he would be facing in the title round.
In the evening session, world No.37 Hurkacz dominated his semi-final against Andrey Rublev, the world No8, who, with 20 wins to his name for the season against two losses, found himself suffering much as many of his previous victims had.
He found himself trailing 5-1 in the first set and dropped his serve in the first game of the second as Hurkacz, having taken control, maintained his grip on the semi-final.
The Pole reached match point in the eighth game, only for the Russian to save it with a swinging volley winner.
For a brief moment it looked as if Rublev would work his way back into the match when he pulled up three break points as Hurkacz attempted to serve out for that final place.
But the Pole, who didn’t slacken his aggressive game, denied him on all three points and then closed out his win with his 16th forehand winner.
“It means a lot, especially after winning the (Delray Beach) title at beginning of the year, I had a couple of rough matches, so I’m so happy and I am still trying to improve my game,” said Hurkacz after his victory, “It’s really huge for me.”
Sinner is also keen to improve his game as he said earlier in the day following his equally impressive win.
“It feels unbelievable. I am very happy. It’s always tough to play against Roberto. He is a very solid player. In the beginning I think we were both a bit tight. Then after we both played a bit better. At the end I just tried to serve better, tried to move him a bit more and mix things up a bit. I think that was the key.
“Two weeks ago we played in Dubai, we had a tough one there. Today it was not easy to play, because it was windy. I am very happy about reaching the final here in Miami. I tried to play my game. I just tried to make my game, tried to move him a little bit. Special thanks to my fans.”
The two have never played against each other before s it will be an interesting final on Sunday.