When the quarter-final line-up was confirmed a few days ago much was expected of the players still contesting the Miami Masters and, as it has turned out, the matches have not only lived up to expectations, but thrown up some surprising results.
It is so big to be in my first Masters 1000 semi-final, especially in front of the crowd here in Miami. It is a super big win for me and I can’t wait for the next match. Hubert Hurkacz
The trend continued with the third quarter-final as the second seed and latest title favourite, crashed out of the first Masters event of the season.
Much to his followers surprise, Stefanos Tsitsipas allowed his Polish opponent, Hubert Hurkacz, the 26th seed, to turn the match on its head and pull off a 2-6 6-3 6-4 upset after two hours and 20-minutes of play.
There were no signs of a possible upset as Tsitsipas settled quickly into the match to dominate the first set. He followed that up in the second when he again broke early
and looked set to bring the match to an early conclusion only for Hurkacz to suddenly come alight and find his range off the baseline.
He saved two break points in the third game and followed that up by breaking the Greek star to get back on serve at 2-2.
Suddenly the atmosphere became a little more tense as Tistsipas’s game became increasingly erratic allowing Hurcacz to break for a second time in the eighth game, clinching the second set with an angled drop shot which caught Tsitsipas by surprise.
It certainly had him thinking for he picked up a time warning at the end of the second set for taking too long to change his shirt and headband which didn’t go down well with the Greek who immediately demanded an audience with the Supervisor.
That wasn’t enough to slow down Hurkacz’s momentum who broke decisively in the fifth game of the third to set himself up for the win and a place in the semi-finals.
“I was very stressed these two weeks,” Tsitsipas revealed later. “I felt like it was my opportunity. It’s a very disappointing loss. Everything was under control. And suddenly, I don’t know, self-explosion.”
Hurkacz had hit 15 aces and saved 10 of the 13 break points he faced and should climb up the rankings next week.
“I want to be as good as I can,” Hurkacz said. “Hopefully, I can win some titles in the future.”
The Pole added: “It is so big to be in my first Masters 1000 semi-final, especially in front of the crowd here in Miami. It is a super big win for me and I can’t wait for the next match.
“I was trying to keep fighting and that’s what I did. I am super pumped and happy that I was able to turn this match around.
“He was returning very well and I had to play a lot of rallies. At the beginning of the match, I tried to go for too much, so then I was trying to adapt my game a little bit.”
The last of the quarter-finals featuring the fourth seed Andrey Rublev – who becomes the title favourite following Tsitsipas’s loss – and the exciting newcomer, the unseeded Sebastian Korda, is scheduled to play later in the day.
Roberto Bautista Agut will face No. 21 Jannik Sinner in the first semi-final on Friday, and a first-time ATP Masters 1000 champion will be crowned on Sunday.