Clay Court ready: Hubert Hurkacz wins Formula One in Madrid | ATP . round

Swinging the clay courts on the ATP Tour is a time for highballs, lung-damaging exchanges, red-stained socks and slipping into shots.

to Hubert Hurkacz, this period presents an opportunity to climb up the ATP rankings as he looks to take his tough-court form into the red dirt. The Pole took a 1-4 lead on clay in 2021 but has already racked up three wins on the surface this year after advancing to the quarter-finals in Rolex Monte Carlo Masters.

Before his third appearance in Mutua Madrid OpenHurkacz revealed that he feels confident his game can continue to play well on clay this year.

“It’s going to be better than last year because I didn’t win matches at that time,” Hurkacz told ATPTour.com. “I’ve done some work with my coach and I’m starting to feel better on clay. I think my game will be good. I think I have the ability to play well on the surface.

“I think I can move decently on clay. It helps, I can get to the ball. I feel like I can hit the ball really hard on the mud because I have more time on the mud, and that works for me. I’m just working on my game in general to improve the surface” .

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The world No. 14 enjoyed outstanding results on both the rough and turf, taking his first title at the ATP Masters 1000 in Miami last year before being defeated Roger Federer On her way to the semi-finals in Wimbledon.

While his powerful ground strikes and powerful serve are perfectly suited to both hard and grass, Hurkacz was actually primarily playing on clay when he was younger while developing his game in Poland.

“In Poland we have a lot of clay, so when I was young I played a lot on clay,” Hurkacz said. “I definitely played on clay more than I played hard. From the age of eight until I was 16, I’ve been playing on clay and enjoying it. I feel very comfortable playing on it.”

Hurkacz is only defending a 143 point ATP rating this week through the week of June 20. He’s already got 180 rooftop points this year from Monte Carlo. with an American Taylor Fritz The only player with a higher rank than Hurkacz to have defended fewer points in that period, the Pole is targeting a return to the top ten, after withdrawing on April 4, 2022.

“Going back to the top 10 is definitely the point of focus,” Hurkacz admitted. “If I can play at a good level, I will have chances to win trophies. It is all about getting my game to a good place and then I will have more chances to achieve better results and reach the finals.”

The 25-year-old was ranked outside the top 30 at the start of the 2021 season. However, after claiming three titles at the Tour level, he qualified for the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin for the first time.

He aims to use the prestigious year-end event as fuel for further stimulus in the coming weeks.

“Turin was a huge experience for me. Thinking of the prestigious year-end event, I felt great there and the experience really helped me.” It’s also a huge motivation to try to qualify again this year. You are trying to become a better player and person. I want to improve my ranking and qualify for Torino.

“At the beginning of the year I had high expectations of myself. I wanted to do a really good job. I feel like I am used to it now and I handle the pressure better and do well.”

Horkac will face Bolivia in the qualifiers Hugo Delane In his opening match in Madrid as he looks to carry his Monte Carlo momentum into the second ATP Masters 1000 event on clay of the season.

“I really, really love the city. Real Madrid is fantastic,” Hurkacz said, as he seeks to win his first title of the season in the Spanish capital. “He’s very fast here, which I feel fits my game and I feel I can run really well here.”