Fourth-seeded Hurkacz has not dropped a set all week, and his success continued against qualifier Christian Harrison with a tight 7-6(4), 6-4 victory to reach his first ATP Tour final since 2019.
Although the match took place in a small town in South Florida, Hurkacz looked right at home. The stands – were dotted with red and white flags as a small but vocal contingent of Polish fans braved the damp conditions to support him in his Delray Beach debut. The tournament has offered limited attendance at the 2021 edition (under 25 per cent capacity) to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
“It’s amazing that I can represent Poland and also that the Polish people are coming and supporting us playing,” Hurkacz said. “Whether that’s [here in Delray Beach] or in Sydney, Australia for the ATP Cup. So it’s really nice to be Polish.”
After the match, Hurkacz also recognised fellow Polish tennis player Swiatek as “a huge inspiration” after the 19-year-old ended their country’s long wait for a Grand Slam singles champion last year at Roland Garros.
“What she did at the French Open was unbelievable and a huge inspiration,” he said. “It’s amazing what she has done, winning a Grand Slam not being seeded and playing the way she played. So that’s really inspiring for all of Poland what she did achieve.”
Hurkacz will also hope to emulate Swiatek’s world-beating performance as he chases his second ATP Tour trophy; the WTA World No. 17 didn’t lose a set during her run in Paris, a feat Hurkacz is one match away from repeating at the ATP 250 event.
“I congratulated her, but we didn’t meet in person after her success,” Hurkacz admitted. “But for sure I’m going to talk to her at the Australian Open.”
As he gears up to take on Sebastian Korda for a shot at the Delray Beach trophy, Hurkacz hopes his strong performance will set him up for success in Melbourne. Ranked No. 35 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Hurkacz is closing in on a seeded spot at the year’s first Grand Slam.
“For sure that can help me in the first rounds, because you know you’re not going to face Rafa [Nadal] and Novak [Djokovic],” he explained. “Hopefully in the future I can be a bit of a higher seed, because then you’re facing the top guys in the third round.
“But obviously this is a step forward. I want to be playing better and better.”