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Hurkacz Upsets Medvedev to Complete Wimbledon Quarterfinals, Gets Federer Next

Hubert Hurkacz celebrates at the end of his 4th round match against Daniil Medvedev at the Wimbledon Championships, 06 July 2021. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

By Ricky Dimon

Hubert Hurkacz trailed Daniil Medvedev two sets to one when their Wimbledon fourth-round match on Court 2 was rained out on Manic Monday. Not many people gave Hurkacz a chance to come back and win when play resumed under the Centre Court roof on Tuesday afternoon.

But win is exactly what the 24-year-old Pole did–and emphatically, too. He won eight of the 11 games that were played on Tuesday, two right away to take the fourth set and then six of nine in the fifth for a surprising 2-6, 7-6(2), 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory. With that, Hurkacz advanced to the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam for the first time in his career.

“Coming to Wimbledon I didn’t win a match on grass in singles,” the No. 14 seed reflected. “I played two tournaments in Stuttgart and Halle. I spent a lot of time practicing on court. I played doubles with Felix (Auger-Aliassime); we got into the finals of Halle.

“Meanwhile I was practicing, trying to work on my grass-court game. I think I spent a lot of time on grass just to be as ready as I can for this event.”

It’s safe to say he was ready. It is already the second-biggest result of his career from a points and prize-money perspective, trailing only the Miami Masters title from this spring. A win over world No. 2 Medvedev was Hurkacz’s eighth over a top 10 opponent and first over anyone in the top three.

Medvedev was not about to make excuses despite the disappointment.

“It happens,” the Russian said said of getting delayed. “(We) played on Court 2. We knew it was going to be raining, so we knew we were not going to finish yesterday. (I) played really bad today; not much more to say…. He definitely played really [well].

Daniil Medvedev in action during the 4th round match against Hubert Hurkacz at the Wimbledon Championships, 06 July 2021. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

“(There are) not many times that I have no explanations or reasons why I couldn’t play [well], but I couldn’t put one ball in the court. For him the job was to just put some pressure and serve good. Well, that was easy. He [did] it. I don’t think he even sweated too much today.”

Hurkacz will surely have to work hard on Wednesday, because next up for him is eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer. The Swiss swept Lorenzo Sonego in straight sets on Monday.

Federer is 1-0 lifetime against Hurkacz, having won their only previous meeting 6-4, 6-4 at the 2019 Indian Wells Masters.

“I already played him once in Indian Wells, where he won,” Hurkacz reflected. I got some of the experience.

“He’s a great guy; great person. The way he plays…what he did for the whole sport…. I think (he) grew the sport massively over his whole career with the way he is, [being] the person he is. Obviously it’s special to play him.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.