“More than just a win” – Hubert Hurkacz on beating his “idol” Roger Federer
World number nine Hubert Hurkacz described his victory over Roger Federer at Wimbledon as “one of the most memorable moments of the season.”
In the latest edition of Player’s Voice, World number nine and joint-second highest ranked Polish player Hubert Hurkacz shared his season highlights.
At the start of the year Hurkacz was ranked 34th, but after winning three ATP tour titles and reaching his first Grand Slam semi-final, he qualified for the ATP Finals in Turin, Italy after being ranked ninth in the World.
Hurkacz has been placed in the Red group of the ATP Finals alongside World Number two and US Open champion Daniil Medvedev, World number three and 2020 Tokyo Olympic Gold medallist Alexander Zverev, and Matteo Berrettini who is enjoying a career-best season.
Growing up, Roger Federer was one of Hurkacz’ heroes. The World number nine beat the 20-time Grand Slam champion in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon earlier this year.
“As a child, Roger Federer was my idol. At every opportunity, I remember trying to watch him as much as possible on the television; that was when I began to realise my dream of competing in the world’s biggest tournaments one day.”
“When I played and won against him at Wimbledon this year, I felt nothing but sheer joy. It was an extremely intense match for me, accompanied by an amazing atmosphere,” Hurkacz said.
“Facing a player such as Roger on Centre Court and coming out on top was an unreal feeling – even now I can’t really describe that experience.
“There isn’t heaps of time between players at the end of matches, but he told me that I played a good game and wished me good luck for the rest of the tournament, which meant a lot.”
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The Pole thinks that his Wimbledon quarter-final victory represented another step in his career.
“That quarter-final victory is definitely one of my most memorable moments of the season. It was more than just a win because it represented that I’d taken another step to break down my barriers and show that I can achieve big things.
“Wimbledon, combined with what I achieved in Delray Beach, Miami and Metz, were all equally big achievements for me as they each gave me the confidence to know that I can keep pushing myself further.”
On his season as a whole, 24-year-old Hurkacz felt he enjoyed the best season of his career and has improved both physically and mentally.
“In general, I think this season has been my best because I feel I am much more aware of what is happening on court; mentally, I feel stronger. Physically too; I’ve been able to move forward and I think my service has improved a lot.”
The World number nine has also said he drew inspiration from compatriot Iga Swiatek’s French Open win and hopes he can become an inspiration for others with a Grand Slam title of his own.
“It would be nice to win a Grand Slam someday. Iga’s [Swiatek] victory at Roland Garros last year was definitely an inspiration for me. It was something amazing.
“She showed us all that someone from Poland can achieve such fantastic success and it was incredibly motivating for me to witness how much her achievement meant to everyone back at home.
“With my results, I really hope I can inspire people too – especially now that I am within the ATP’s top 10. That was definitely my dream and it would be fun to stay there for many, many years.”
Hurkacz will be competing at the ATP Finals, and feels a good performance at the season-concluding event “would be a very distinctive point in my career.”
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