Hubert Hurkacz took up tennis because of Roger Federer as pair meet in quarters
Hubert Hurkacz admitted Roger Federer inspired him to take up tennis after he stunned second seed Daniil Medvedev to book a Wimbledon quarter-final against his hero.
The 24-year-old from Poland came from two sets to one down to win their rain-interrupted fourth-round match 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
The match was the only one in the singles draw to become a casualty of the weather on ‘Manic Monday’, having started on Court Two, and they resumed under the roof on Centre Court with Medvedev 2-1 up and on serve at 3-4 in the fourth.
Three breaks of serve later and Hurkacz, the 14th seed, had reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final and a meeting with his boyhood idol.
“Obviously Roger is a special player,” said Hurkacz. “I mean, what he’s achieved throughout his whole career, it’s unbelievable. Then the way he plays is also special.
“Being out there playing quarter-finals against him, it’s really amazing. But obviously I’m out there to play my best and give myself the best chance of winning the match.
“He was a big inspiration for me. I mean, the success that he had, the way he played, how he plays in the important moment, it’s really special.”
Hurkacz hopes that returning to complete the match on Tuesday, rather than having a day’s rest, could actually be to his advantage.
“I think playing today might have helped me because I got used to the indoor conditions, the conditions on the big court, how the ball bounces there, all the crowd. I think that actually can help me in my next-round match,” he said.
“I mean, like, playing on such a big arena, obviously from the outside court the ball bounces a little bit different. I mean, just being out there, it’s so special.
“I’m just enjoying it a lot. I need to be prepared tactically. I’ll speak to my coach and we’ll be as ready as we can for tomorrow.”
Medvedev insisted the rain interruption was not to blame for his defeat.
He revealed he was asked by the match referee whether he was happy to resume on Tuesday afternoon, rather than play to a finish after Federer’s match against Lorenzo Sonego on Centre, and said yes.
“We knew it was going to be raining, so we knew we’re not going to finish yesterday,” he added. “I played really bad today. There’s not much more to say.”
There was a slim chance Medvedev could have finished the Championships as world No 1 had he lifted the title and Novak Djokovic not reached the final, so a fourth-round exit was hugely disappointing.
He said: “When you’re second in the world, fourth round is a really bad result. It’s a bad result. That’s it.”
When will Emma Raducanu make her comeback and where will she be ranked?
Emma Raducanu has been training at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre recently, but her comeback date is unclear.
Cameron Norrie gives five reasons why Carlos Alcaraz is a better player than Jannik Sinner in feisty interview
British No 1 Cameron Norrie gave a compelling insight into the best two young players.
Novak Djokovic heads final UTR rankings of 2023 as two big names miss out on top 10 spot
While the official ATP rankings will always carry plenty of weight, the UTR rankings offers an alternative list.
Legendary coach disagrees with Boris Becker’s comments about Carlos Alcaraz
“I’m still putting my money on [Carlos Alcaraz] next year as a contender for every Grand Slam with [Novak] Djokovic.”
Holger Rune explains why he is happy that ‘real deal’ Novak Djokovic is still playing at a high level
Holger Rune happy to be learning from Novak Djokovic.
American star favours dramatic tennis revamp that will see top players compete in only 14 marquee events
Top 10 star keen to get rid of the “crazy schedule for players”.
Zheng Qinwen reunites with former coach in bid for top 10 push
Rising Chinese star Zheng Qinwen has announced that she has reunited with former coach Pere Riba.
Brad Gilbert has been a gamechanger for US Open champion Coco Gauff
Brad Gilbert has done wonders with Coco Gauff through the tiniest of tweaks.
Aryna Sabalenka doesn’t get the credit she deserves for a brilliant 2023 season
Aryna Sabalenka will be a strong Grand Slam contender in 2024.