In a thrilling Shanghai Masters final, Hubert Hurkacz exhibited his prowess by saving a match point before triumphing over the fifth seed, Andrey Rublev, with a score of 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10/8).
This victory marked the second Masters title for the powerful Polish player, following his 2021 triumph in Miami, and his seventh ATP title overall.
Describing the intense battle, the 16th seed stated, "It was such a battle, especially emotionally." The match featured a nail-biting third-set tiebreak witnessed by none other than Roger Federer.
Hurkacz made an early impact, breaking Rublev with a fierce forehand to secure a 4-2 lead in the first set. His commanding play left Rublev visibly frustrated as the Polish player continued to dominate.
The impressive statistics further underlined Hurkacz's dominance, as he entered the final with a tournament-leading 77 aces. His booming serve proved too much for Rublev to handle, and Hurkacz sealed the first set in just 31 minutes, concluding it with another ace. Notably, it was the first set that Rublev had dropped in Shanghai.
However, Rublev staged a comeback, breaking Hurkacz's formidable serve to take a 2-0 lead at the beginning of the second set. This resurgence by Rublev forced the match into a decisive third set.
Rublev, known for his emotional outbursts, continued to struggle with his composure on the court. In contrast, Hurkacz remained focused and composed throughout.
The third set showcased a fierce battle, with Rublev saving a match point amidst controversy over his interaction with photographers. The match ultimately went to a tiebreak, where Hurkacz emerged victorious.
After the thrilling win, Hurkacz expressed his self-belief and satisfaction with how he managed to maintain his composure in the crucial moments of the match.
Rublev, despite the loss, looked ahead to qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin. He acknowledged the challenge of facing Hurkacz's exceptional serve, which proved to be a decisive factor in the match.
Reflecting on his emotions and behaviour on the court, Rublev felt he had improved his composure compared to the previous day, despite the incident with the photographers.