Practice partners Jannik Sinner and Hubert Hurkacz will shove friendship aside for Sunday’s final at the MIami Masters.
The teenaged Italian and his Polish colleague will be taking full advantage of the lack of household names at the last hardcourt tournament of the spring, with one of the up-and-comers set to lift the biggest trophy of his career.
There is a total lack of trash talk heading into the Sunday showdown at a temporary stadium raised in a parking lot with limited fans in attendance.
“Jannik is a great person, super, super calm and super chill, and also he’s a good person,” the 24-year-old Hurkacz said after his semi-final win over another name for the immediate future, Russian Andrey Rublev.
“He’s a really nice guy and wants it hard to compete to win,” added the Pole who along with French Open champion Iga Swiatek is quickly raising the profile of the sport in Poland.
But it won’t be all niceties in the final; there is also the chance to gain a step on the longtime elites of the game.
“We knew Novak (Djokovic) and Rafa (Nadal), Dominic (Thiem), Roger (Federer) were not gonna play this event,” Hurkacz said.
“So some of the younger guys were going to have a chance to play really deep there.
“Obviously I was just trying to work on my game and play my best tennis. Luckily and happily I’m here in the finals now.”
The laid-back Sinner, 19, and ranked 31st, could lift his ranking to an estimated spot inside the Top 15 according to ATP calculations with a title victory.
But in true fashion, the longtime student of Italian tennis guru Ricardo Piatti is keeping it real.
“Obviously it’s very nice to be part of this final, to play for a win,” Sinner said.
“But I’m just trying to improve every day. My next years are still the main goal.
We will see in the next years or months what’s coming.”
The pair of mates have never met in a match; Sinner is aiming for a third career title – he earned his first only last November in Sofia while Hurkacz won his second in the nearby Delray Beach event in January.
Main photo:- Jannik Sinner winning in Miami – ATPTour.com