Hubert Hurkacz (8) of Poland will battle in the final of the National Bank Open presented by Rogers on Sunday. It’s a privilege he earned by defeating Casper Ruud (4) of Norway 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in 122 minutes.
Hurkacz didn’t have an easy time in any of his matches this week. He overpowered Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland, Albert Ramos-Vinolas of Spain, Nick Kyrgios of Australia and Ruud in three sets—proof that he can stay cool, even when the stakes are high.
Against Ruud, he started out strong with a break that quickly led to a 3-0 lead. He was then broken twice and started to show signs of slowing down. He lost the set in 42 minutes.
“I didn’t get off to a good start,” said Ruud. “I lacked precision, and my serves weren’t accurate or powerful.”
Hurkacz got used to his opponent’s powerful groundstrokes, as he often does. More present at the net and more methodical, he held out hope despite getting broken in the first game. At 0-1 and 3-2, he broke back to close things out in 39 minutes.
The third set belonged to the man who elevated his game. Ruud lost his first two service games, clearing the way to the final for Hurkacz, who showed off some of his tricks to wrap things up. He earned 5 breaks versus 3 for Ruud, 90 points versus 85 and 18 aces (and only one double fault) versus 8 (2 double faults).
“My path to the final wasn’t easy this week, and it wasn’t easier today. But I had a lot of fun playing singles and doubles, especially in front of the crowd that kept cheering me on.”
With the win, Hurkacz avenged the four-set loss he suffered against Ruud at Roland-Garros.