Hubert Hurkacz is just two matches away from completing an unlikely defence of his Miami Open title. He next plays the in-form Carlos Alcaraz, who is in the semi-finals of a Masters 1000 event for the second event running having done the same at Indian Wells. Also in the doubles final, Hurkacz would be the first to achieve the double in the same year if he wins his remaining three matches.
Hurkacz had played No. 2 Daniil Medvedev tough in each of their three matches so far so his straight sets win over the Russian in the quarter finals was not as surprising as it could have been. The conditions suited him and he played some top attacking tennis in the 7-6 6-3 win. “I think the return was crucial. I was able to make a lot of returns and get some free points on my serve, because having rallies with Daniil is fun, but they get long,” Hurkacz said on-court afterwards. “It is good I was able to get some free points.”
Alcaraz has had a fruitful month in the US, almost shocking Nadal at Indian Wells before following up that run with another semi final here. His third set tiebreak win against Miomir Kecmanovic showed his toughness following a dominant win over Stefanos Tsitsipas in the previous round. Down 3-5 in the tiebreak, he reeled off the last four points to continue his hot run of form. “Miomir was playing unbelievable,” he said after. “I knew that I had to put a good level from my side. He had chances to win the match.
This will be a different style of matchup for Alcaraz, having faced a player with a more grindy style in the previous round. Hurkacz will want to serve big and end points quickly but Alcaraz can match him on that front too. The 18 year-old already looks at home on the big stage and a win here further prove he is one to stay at the top of the tour for a long time. A very winnable final against Casper Ruud or Francisco Cerundolo awaits the winner of this one.
Prediction – Carlos Alcaraz in three sets