Hurkacz overtakes Wawrinka, Linette secures last place in town for Poland | ATP circuit
Hubert Hurkacz scored a critical victory for Poland against Switzerland Stan Wawrinka and the heroism of Magda Linette delivered the crucial third point in booking Poland a place in the Brisbane City Finals at the united cup. With Hurkacz’s win giving Poland a 2-1 lead, Linette edged past Jil Teichmann to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-1 and clinch a draw.
Poland will face Italy in the city finals on Wednesday. The winner of the playoff will advance to the united cup Final Four in Sydney. The team with the best record between runners-up Perth, Sydney and Brisbane will also advance to the Final Four.
Hurkacz fought a tense clash against former world No. 3 Wawrinka 7-6(5), 6-4.
“I had never had the opportunity to play Stan before, so I was really looking forward to that match. He is a legend of the sport. I was watching him win Grand Slams and now I get to share the court with him, so it was a great pleasure for me,” Hurkacz said. “Definitely a great match. Obviously very happy to get a point for the Poland team, so I was very excited about it. It was a great point for us and we will continue to fight.”
The stakes were high for Hurkacz and Wawrinka, and both players knew the Group B lead was on the line. Switzerland, playing captain, fought hard and the margins were fine, but world No. 10 Hurkacz gave his best at critical moments to triumph after one hour and 39 minutes.
Hurkacz got off to a fast start by immediately breaking Wawrinka’s serve. But once the 37-year-old Swiss revved up his engine, it looked like his firepower could help turn the tide of the match.
However, the three-time Grand Slam champion made a critical error at 3/3 in the first set tiebreak, which proved to be his undoing. Wawrinka double faulted and Hurkacz made the most of it to close out the set.
At 3-3 in the second set, Wawrinka served on a backhand pass shot that screamed for a winner to avoid facing triple break point. While it was a classic ‘Stan The Man’ moment reminiscent of his time at the top of the sport, the Swiss couldn’t hold back Hurkacz’s barrage forever.
The Pole earned a break point later in the game and changed his approach, moving into the net with a ball to the right of Wawrinka, who faltered under the pressure.
“I found my rhythm on serve towards the end of the match and was definitely taking better shots from the baseline,” Hurkacz said. “It was a very, very important match and I’m happy that I was building my game throughout the match and it was a really tough battle.”
With a chance to wrap up the win and prevent the tie from being decided in the mixed doubles, World No. 48 Linette held her nerve to earn her maiden win over World No. 35 Teichmann. The two had met just once, at the 2021 Chicago 500, with the Swiss winning in straight sets.
“I played Jil and she smoked me last time so I knew I had to play my best tennis,” Linette said. “I was so frustrated in the first set when I had a good lead and I didn’t do a very good job, I wasn’t focused enough. I’m very happy that I was able to restart after the first set and come back.” come back strong.”
Linette jumped out to 3-0 leads in both the first and second sets, but Teichmann’s fighting qualities kept the result in the balance until the closing stages of the two hour, 43 minute battle. Teichmann overcame a monumental fifth game of the first set to return to serve and shake up the Pole. Linette grew frustrated after seeing his lead blown and Teichmann was able to secure a second break to complete the comeback.
Teichmann nearly pulled off a straight-set victory in the second set. Again Linette led by a break and was again thrown back by the Swiss. She broke Linette when the Pole served for the set at 5-3. But this time Linette stood tall. She brushed aside her disappointment quickly and broke away immediately to force a decision.
The final set was a test of fitness and Teichmann paid for her two hours of racing to keep up with Linette. Two tired double faults from the 25-year-old Swiss gave Linette a 2-0 lead and she raced to victory.
Even though the tie was out of reach, Belinda Bencic and Marc-Andrea Huesler fought hard for her country in the mixed doubles, beating Alicja Rosolska and kacper zuko 7-5, 6-2. Poland claimed a 3-2 draw.