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Hubert Hurkacz, Andrey Rublev to meet in Shanghai final

Hubert Hurkacz ended Sebastian Korda’s run at the Shanghai Masters, advancing to the final with a 6-3, 6-4 win on Saturday.

The Pole, seeded 16th, won 85 percent of the points on his first serve, aided by 14 aces, in the 77-minute semifinal match.

Both players were efficient, with Hurkacz posting 27 winners and five unforced errors to 22 and four, respectively, for Korda, seeded 26th. Hurkacz didn’t face any break points in the match but broke Korda in two of four chances, which proved the difference at the ATP Masters 1000 event.

“I’m just really happy with my performance today,” Hurkacz said. “I was serving well, playing some good groundstrokes and definitely putting pressure on Sebi from the ground.”

To get to the semifinals, Korda beat second-seeded Daniil Medvedev of Russia and outlasted fellow American Ben Shelton along the way. But he couldn’t continue the run against Hurkacz.

“I’m working on being difficult to play against,” said Hurkacz, who has hit 77 aces during the tournament. “It’s the same with every opponent. They try to come out with their best foot forward that day and they’re trying to [implement] their tactics or plan against you. You’ve just got to stay mentally strong and really battle.”

In the final, Hurkacz will be seeking his seventh ATP Tour title against Andrey Rublev, the fifth seed, who ousted 18th-seeded Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria 7-6 (9), 6-3 in Saturday’s other semifinal.

By defeating his good friend, the Russian now has won all 10 sets in Shanghai. He is 18-6 at Masters 1000 events on the season, which includes his first 1000-level title at Monte Carlo.

“It’s not easy when you win matches against friends, because you feel both sides,” Rublev said. “You feel sad, but at the same time you want to win. It’s a mix of feelings.”

Rublev struck nine aces, part of his 25 winners against 10 unforced errors in the semifinal. Dimitrov countered with eight and 11, respectively.

Rublev fought off a set point in the first-set tiebreak and also came back from a 2-0 hole in the second set.

He is 2-2 against Hurkacz, winning their two most recent matches, both in 2022.

“I’m thinking only to rest and try to recover for [Sunday], because Hubi is so tough to play,” Rublev said. “He’s one of the players that you don’t want to face because he can beat everyone. With his style of the game, the way he serves, the way he hits the ball. We’ll see. I just want to take my time to recover and to be as [ready] as possible.”

–Field Level Media

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