Saturday, April 1, 2023

Hubert Herkaz defeated Daniil Medvedev with the Halle title. ATP Tour

Hubert Herkaz produced one of the performances of the 2022 grass season so far at the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle on Sunday, where Pole defeated world No. 1 Daniil Medvedev in a championship match to win his first title for 2022.

Fifth-seeded Medvedev smashed Medvedev three times on the way to a swift 6-1, 6-4 victory, which secured his first Tour-level trophy on the grass. The 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist dominated from behind his serve and from the baseline as he secured the first ATP 500 crown of his career in just 63 minutes at the OWL Arena.

“I’m so excited, I’m waiting a little bit for my first one” Hubert Hurkacz Races Past Daniil Medvedev To Halle Title | ATP Tour This year,” Harkaz said in his on-court interview. “I’m happy to have won my first ATP 500 title and, of course, it’s very special on the grass.

“I was serving very well today and got some momentum from the first game. I saved a few deuce in my serve game and then I managed to break Daniel’s serve, so I definitely got some momentum. I am very happy to win here in front of such a huge crowd.”

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With his fifth Tour-level title, Harkaz will move up two places to 10th in the Pepperstone ATP Live rankings. He has become the seventh player in the Open Era to have won his first five championship matches at Tour-level, a group that includes current world No. 7 Carlos Alcaraz.

Medvedev was playing in the finals of the grass court for the second week in a row. However, as he did against Tim Van Rijnthoven at ‘As-Hertogenbosch’ a week earlier, the World No. 1 was struggling to find his top level during the championship match. Medvedev is now 0-3 for the Tour-level final in 2022 as he secures his first title since lifting the trophy at the US Open last September.

Harkaz in his quarterfinal against Felix Auger-Aliassime and once in his semifinal against Nick Kyrgios without breaking a serve, but Pole made immediate inroads into the championship match as he broke twice in the race for a 5–0 lead. Gone. The fifth seed was aggressive with his groundstrokes, yet hardly missed as he gave his opponent few opportunities to score points. Harkaz fired off eight winners, including five aces, in the opener to move on.

Medvedev’s dismay began to show when Harkaz broke again in the first game of the second set, and although the world No. 1 raised his level on the serve, he was unable to make any impact on the powerful Harkaz delivery. The early break for Pole proved enough to seal a comprehensive victory, winning 84 percent (32/38) points after his first serve in the match and without facing a break point.

The win took Harkaz with Medvedev to a 3–2 lead in the ATP Head2Head series. The 25-year-old also won the pair’s only previous meeting this season, in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open presented by Itaou in March.

“Daniel is an incredible player,” said Herkaz. “He’s the best player in the world so it’s very difficult to play him. All the right shots in the beginning worked for me, so I definitely got a lot of momentum out of it.”

“Congratulations Hubert, great match today, great week,” Medvedev said during the presentation ceremony. “Congratulations to you and your team. You guys are super cool. Hope to see more matches played on the big stage. Congratulations on a great week and the title.”

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