Hurkacz, Majchrzak guide Poland to ATP Cup semifinals

by IANS |

Sydney, Jan 5 (IANS) Poland's world No. 9 tennis player Hubert Hurkacz and Kamil Majchrzak finished a perfect 3-0 run through Group D of the ATP Cup, defeating Argentina to send their country into the semifinals here on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old Hurkacz, a Wimbledon semifinalist last year, clinched the tie for Poland with a 6-1, 6-4 win against Diego Schwartzman. The 2021 ATP Finals competitor saved all three break points he faced to triumph after one hour and 21 minutes.

"So happy for our team, for Team Poland. We're in the semis, so super proud of that achievement," Hurkacz was quoted as saying by atptour.com. "We're a great team. We have great team spirit. We support each other. I think the atmosphere that we bring helps us play better."

The 6'5" Hurkacz came out firing from the start, using his big serve and staying on top of the baseline to prevent Schwartzman from finding any rhythm. Later in the clash, the Argentine began to play long rallies, but Hurkacz had too much firepower. The Pole earned the deciding break in the second set by countering his opponent from the baseline before swiftly moving to the net to execute a forehand drop volley winner.

"He fights for every ball. I had a couple of chances, but he was playing pretty solid points during that break points," Hurkacz said. "You knew you have to put up something, you have to play a great shot to beat him."

Hurkacz and Majchrzak, who defeated Federico Delbonis 6-3, 7-6(3) at No. 2 singles, have dropped just one set in singles this week. Poland will play the winner of Group A on January 7.

"Super proud of Kamil. That's the biggest win in his career. It's great in the beginning of the year. He for sure did an amazing preseason and super proud of him," Hurkacz said. "The way he competed today, the way he was resilient, even though he was a break up, then he got broken back. But he still kept being positive and fighting."

The 25-year-old Majchrzak's career has come at the perfect time for Poland. Majchrzak, ranked outside the top-100 in singles, moved to 3-0 at the ATP Cup on Wednesday with his win against Delbonis, ranked 73 places higher.

"It was very difficult. Everyone could see it. I was twice a break up in the second set and I couldn't close the match," said the 117th-ranked Majchrzak. "It was very connected with the emotions and with the big fight of Federico. It was a very difficult game from the beginning until the end. It was a very intense match and I'm very happy that at the end I managed to win the last point."

Argentina finished this year's ATP Cup with a 2-1 record and will not advance to the semifinals.

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