The Pole talks about how his serve can improve and how he has improved since his last Grand Slam quarterfinal.
By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Monday January 22, 2024
Hubert Hurkacz dropped just five first-serve points across his 7-6(6) 7-6(3) 6-4 win over French wild card Arthur Cazaux, but the Pole believes he has even more in the tank when it comes to serving efficiently.
He’ll likely need it to, as Hurkacz, who became the first Polish man to reach the Australian Open quarterfinals on Monday, will face No.3-seeded Daniil Medvedev next.
If there is one guy not named Novak Djokovic that can spoil a day for a big serve it is Medvedev, but Hurkacz believes he is in good enough shape to handle it.
“I still think I can serve better than I was serving today,” he told reporters. “Also will work on few things tomorrow and will be ready for Wednesday.”
Hubert Hurkacz 51-SECOND service game oh he’s in his Federer era pic.twitter.com/koRQ1BFtYy
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) January 22, 2024
Ninth-seeded Hurkacz is into his first major quarterfinal since he defeated Roger Federer to reach the semis at Wimbledon. In the interim, the Pole says he has become a much better player in all areas.
How much has he improved?
“I think a lot, to be honest,” he said. “I played so many matches in [since 2021]. Was actually a long time ago since I played quarters in a major. Just played so many matches, gained a lot of experience playing on tour for a couple of years, playing against the best players in the world.
“I think my serve has improved as well. I would say my return, my knowledge about the tennis, knowledge about myself, also physically I think I’m a better player since then.”
Also working in Hurkacz’ favor is the fact that he has won his last two matches against Medvedev, and three of five overall against the World No.3.
“Daniil has been an amazing competitor for so many years,” Hurkacz said. “He’s been at the top. He was No. 1 in the world. He won a Grand Slam. Yeah, I mean, it’s a fun match. I’m going to give my best. He’s going to give his best. It’s an interesting matchup, I would say. “Definitely he’s been playing many times here in the quarterfinals. He was in the final. Yeah, I would say, I mean, he’s really tricky opponent.”
Hurkacz says he is more mature and able to handle stress better as well, something that could help him if the match turns into a protracted battle.
“I would say also mentally, how to manage myself on the court, to be ready for each point, I think [I have been] doing a better job,” he said.