On Friday afternoon, Hubert Hurkacz (8) of Poland became the first player to join the final four at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers at IGA Stadium in Montréal.
In the early match on Centre Court, he defeated the man of the hour, Nick Kyrgios, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-1 in 1 hour and 46 minutes of play.
Hurkacz dominated the first set, which was decided by a tiebreaker.
Kyrgios took the second, to the delight of the partisan crowd.
“The first two sets were like a boxing match,” Hurkacz said afterwards.
In the third set, the temperamental Australian was only a shadow of himself. Three key factors are to blame.
First, Hurkacz took a bathroom break at the start of the third set that lasted no less than 8 minutes. Kyrgios complained to the chair umpire, lost his focus and was never really able to get back in the match. He was experiencing significant hamstring pain that impeded his movement, and his energy level was very low after two intense weeks of tennis that included the singles and doubles titles in Washington.
“Nick is the best, if not one of the best players in the world right now. I’m proud of this win and I’m ready for what’s next,” added Hurkacz.
Both players relied on the biggest weapon in their arsenal: their serve. Hurkacz collected 20 aces, while Kyrgios secured 19. But while the winner made only two double faults, the loser made eight. Kyrgios also committed 24 unforced errors compared to 13 for Hurkacz and scored only 95 points versus 109.
Hubert Hurkacz will play Saturday afternoon on Centre Court.