Djokovic beats Hurkacz at ATP Finals but semi-final hopes hinge on Sinner

Tennis - ATP Finals - Pala Alpitour, Turin, Italy - November 16, 2023 Serbia's Novak Djokovic in action during his group stage match against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

The match between world number one Novak Djokovic and ATP Finals alternate Hubert Hurkacz occurred on Thursday. Djokovic emerged victorious in the game by 7-6(1), 4-6, 6-1; nonetheless, the six-time winner will be anxious about making it into the semifinals.

Jannik Sinner will become the first Italian player in the tournament’s 54-year history to advance to the semifinals as a result of Djokovic’s loss of the first set against Hurkacz, who was subbing for an injured Stefanos Tsitsipas in Turin. Hurkacz replaced the injured Stefanos Tsitsipas in the match.

To find out what will happen to him, Djokovic will have to wait until the conclusion of the match between Sinner and Holger Rune of Denmark, which will take place later on Thursday. For Djokovic to progress, Sinner has to win against Rune.

Hurkacz of Poland, who was playing with nothing to lose, was a force to contend with on serve, blazing 24 aces during the match. However, he ran out of steam in the deciding set, and Djokovic converted break points for the first time in the competition.

When questioned about why he appeared irritated when things went wrong during the second set, the Serbian was frustrated after the win. This is even though Djokovic has notched his 15th victory against a top-10 player this year, tied for his best record since 2018.

“Why was I so aggravated? To what end? It’s not unusual because I misplaced the whole thing… “Good win, good win,” he said in an interview that lasted for fewer than 20 seconds as he walked off the floor. “Good win, good win.”

When world number one Djokovic was serving for the first set, Hurkacz made things tough for him by opting to serve first and beginning with a string of unreturned serves in the opening games. As a result, there were very few break-point opportunities in the enthralling first set.

Hurkacz is the only player on the ATP Tour to have more than 1,000 aces in 2023, and the 26-year-old used an aggressive attitude to play on a highly rapid surface.

However, when he was behind 6-5, Djokovic shifted gears and scored ten games in a row to push the match into a tiebreak. This allowed him to set up six points in the blink of an eye.

Even though Hurkacz was able to preserve one set point, the Serbian was able to finish out the set and take the lead.

However, in the second set of the match, the Pole roared back into the game with the audience firmly behind the underdog. At the same time, Djokovic appeared preoccupied, gifting Hurkacz the first break when he committed a double fault. The crowd was entirely behind the underdog.

Hurkacz came close to losing the edge he had on serve when he was up 4-3, and Djokovic was ahead 40-15, but his strong serve came to the rescue once again to prevent the Serbian from gaining a break, and he went on to serve out the set to force a third and deciding game.

However, Hurkacz could not give much else as his number of unforced errors increased. Although the Pole had a more significant overall winning percentage than Djokovic, the Pole’s 41 unforced errors ultimately decided the game’s outcome.

Hey, I'm Sarah, a versatile sports writer covering a wide range of sports, from tennis to golf to swimming. My meticulous research and informative writing style make my articles a go-to source for sports enthusiasts looking for in-depth coverage.

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