Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz showed his Wimbledon credentials on Sunday, hammering world number one Daniil Medvedev 6-1 6-4 to win the ATP 500 grasscourt tournament in Halle, Germany.
World number 12 Hurkacz defeated Medvedev and Roger Federer en route to the semi-finals at Wimbledon last year and showed he will once again be a force to reckon with when the Championships kick off on June 27.
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Halle is the 25-year-old Pole’s fifth ATP singles title, and he kept his record in finals so far unblemished with his victory in just over an hour when he converted his second matchpoint with a backhand volley.
In contrast, it was a fifth straight defeat in a championship match for Medvedev, who has not won a title since denying Novak Djokovic the calendar Grand Slam to win the 2021 U.S. Open for his maiden major triumph.
Medvedev, who will not be allowed to compete at Wimbledon due to its ban on Russian and Belarusian players, came into Sunday’s match having not dropped a set while saving 22 of the 23 break points he faced during his four matches.
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But the Russian struggled to get his first serves in as Hurkacz jumped into a 5-0 lead in no time with two breaks of his opponent’s delivery.
Medvedev finally held his serve at 1-5 before Hurkacz wrapped up the opening set in 27 minutes.
There was, however, no end to Medvedev’s frustrations in the second set as the Pole once again broke serve early, continuing to dominate the rallies both from the back of the court and when he advanced to the net.
Medvedev saved two breakpoints to hold serve in the seventh game to stay close to Hurkacz, but he could not get the break back against his opponent, who did not allow the Russian a single opportunity on his own delivery during the entire match.