Shanghai: Big-serving Hubert Hurkacz survived a thrilling final-set tie break to fight off fifth seed Andrey Rublev 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10/8) and win the Shanghai Masters on Sunday.
It was the 16th-seeded Pole’s second Masters triumph, to go with the one he won in Miami in 2021, and a seventh ATP title in all.
Both players squandered match points in a thrilling conclusion on a warm evening in front of the watching Roger Federer.
Hurkacz had Rublev under pressure early and broke the Russian with a vicious whipped forehand that Rublev had no chance of returning to lead 4-2 in the first set.
The 25-year-old Rublev let out an angry roar in response and then Hurkacz easily held his own booming serve to go up 5-2.
The Pole Hurkacz came into the final with a tournament-leading 77 aces and Rublev could not handle his blistering serve.
Hurkacz sealed the first set in 31 minutes — and it was inevitably with another ace.
It was the first set that Rublev had dropped in Shanghai.
But Rublev, who won the Monte Carlo Masters in April, struck back to break his opponent’s torpedo of a serve for a 2-0 lead at the start of the second set.
A rejuvenated Rublev kept the 26-year-old Hurkacz at bay to send them into a deciding third set.
Rublev on Saturday described his angry outbursts in his semi-final win over Grigor Dimitrov as “ugly” and he was struggling again with his emotions at times.
In contrast, Hurkacz went about his business with quiet determination.
Serving at 4-5 in a gripping third set, Rublev saved a championship point — having been booed by the crowd moments earlier for aggressively approaching and shouting at courtside photographers.
That propelled the duo into a tie break before Hurkacz finally prevailed.