Hubert Hurkacz started the year ranked 34 in the world, but he will end it firmly inside the top 10. The Pole, who is currently No. 9 in the world, will feature in the season-ending championships for the first time in his career.
In a recent interview with Sportklub, the Pole reflected on the most memorable win of his career thus far, which came earlier this year against Roger Federer at Wimbledon. The 24-year-old stunned the Swiss in the Wimbledon quarterfinals, winning 6-3, 7-6(4), 6-0.
Hurkacz revealed that watching Federer at every opportunity motivated him to take up a racquet and compete in the biggest tournaments in the world.
"When I was a child, Roger Federer was my idol. I remember trying to watch him whenever I had the chance. That's when I realized that my dream is to compete in the biggest tournaments in the world," Hurkacz said.
A winner of three titles this season, Hurkacz said facing the Swiss on Centre Court at the All England Club was a "special" experience.
"I was extremely happy. Playing against Roger at Central Court is something special, even now I can’t describe exactly that experience," Hurkacz said.
The Pole said the victory instilled in him great belief and proved that he could achieve success in the sport.
"That victory in the quarterfinals is one of the most significant moments of this season. It was more than a victory, because I realized that I had made a big step forward and showed that I could achieve great success," explained Hurkacz.
Iga Swiatek's triumph at Roland Garros last season inspired me: Hubert Hurkacz
Hubert Hurkacz claimed the first 'big title' of his career in April this year, beating Jannik Sinner in the final of the Miami Masters.
In addition to beating Federer and Sinner, the Pole has also notched up wins over Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Andrey Rublev and Andy Murray this season. He even pushed Novak Djokovic to the wire in Paris last week.
Hurkacz, on his part, hopes his performances translate into even greater success -- winning a Grand Slam.
"It would be nice to win a Grand Slam one day," Hurkacz remarked.
The World No. 9 cited compatriot Iga Swiatek's Roland Garros triumph last year as a source of his motivation.
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"It was amazing, it showed that someone from Poland can achieve great success and that motivated me," Hurkacz said.