Tennis: Hurkacz progresses in Paris to prolong ATP Finals hopes

Hubert Hurkacz defeated the American Tommy Paul 7:5, 7:6 (7-4) in the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 indoor tennis tournament in Paris and advanced to the Round of 16. This is an important victory in the context of the fight to participate in the ATP Finals which concludes the men’s season.

The 24-year-old Hurkacz, who is currently 10th in the world ranking, is seeded in Paris with a “seven”, and his rival had to pave the way to the main ladder via qualifiers. On Wednesday, the difference was quite visible only at the beginning of the first set. Later, the American set very difficult conditions for the Pole, but in the end it was Hurkacz who advanced to the 1/8 final after a match lasting almost two hours.

In the Last 16 phase, Hurkacz will face the 27-year-old German Dominik Koepfer, 58th player in the world ranking.

The competition in the Bercy hall will decide whether the Pole will play in the master's tournament - ATP Finals in Turin (November 14-21), with the participation of eight best tennis players, at the end of the season. As it stands, the following have secured their berth: Novak Djokovic, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Andrey Rublev and Matteo Berrettini.

There are two seats left to be filled in the ATP Finals. The 7th in the “Race to Turin” ranking is the Norwegian Casper Ruud, while the Italian Jannik Sinner is 8th. Hurkacz ranks 10th, but Rafael Nadal, who is one position ahead, has already ended his season due to an injury.

In Paris, Ruud already advanced to the 1/8 finals, but Sinner sensationally got eliminated in the Round of 16. Theoretically, 11th in the Race to Turin classification, Cameron Norrie, who also advanced to the 1/8 finals, still has a chance to compete in the ATP Finals.