Hubert Hurkacz won his maiden Masters 1000 title on Sunday, beating teenage phenom Jannik Sinner 7-6 (4), 6-4 in the final of the Miami Open. In his post-match presser, Hurkacz talked at length about his good friend Sinner and Next Gen's coming of age, while also mentioning the role played by compatriot Iga Swiatek in his historic win.
Iga Swiatek became the first Pole to win a Major when she triumphed at Roland Garros last year. And now Hurkacz has become the first Pole to ever win an ATP 1000 event.
The 24-year-old revealed that he is 'super proud' of Swiatek, and that her triumph gave many Polish players - including himself - the belief that they could lay their hands on the big titles.
"I was super proud of Iga," Hurkacz said. "What she has done there in French Open was amazing, I think that gave the belief for us, for me myself and to the younger players in Poland that it's possible to win those big titles."
With Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Dominic Thiem absent from the field in Miami this year, the younger players had a great chance to make a breakthrough. And they did just that, with seven of the quarterfinalists being 25 or under.
In addition to Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner, the likes of Sebastian Korda, Andrey Rublev and Alexander Bublik also achieved career first in Miami. Hurkacz pointed out that the younger players were eagerly trying to put their best foot forward in the absence of the Big 3.
"With the big 3 absent here in this tournament I think all the Next Gen guys were trying their best to play their best game to compete as hard as they can," Hurkacz said.
The Pole also claimed that Jannik Sinner is one of the best candidates for the Next Gen takeover, and called the Italian an 'amazing competitor'.
"Jannik is an amazing competitor and player and I think he's great for this sport and also a couple of other guys," Hurkacz added.
Hubert Hurkacz continued to speak in glowing terms about Jannik Sinner, highlighting why the teenager stands out as an individual and tennis player.
"(He) always seemed super nice and he's very, very professional and he really wants to improve and get better," Hurkacz said. "So I mean he's a super, super cool guy and I wish him all the best for the future."
I played the best tennis I ever played: Hubert Hurkacz
According to Hubert Hurkacz, he has never played as well as he did this week at the Miami Masters. The Pole revealed that each victory filled him with ever more confidence, which made the whole event 'something special'.
"I played my best tennis I ever played," Hurkacz said. "I was solid throughout the whole tournament and I was able to get through each round and was even more pumped for the next round so I think that's something special for me."
Hubert Hurkacz credited the hard yards put in by his coach and himself for the dramatic improvements in his game. However, the 24-year-old asserted that he is still a work in progress and that he hopes to keep getting better.
"My tennis is getting better," Hurkacz said. "I mean we work hard on it with my coach CB (Craig Boynton) and super happy that it happened here,(but) we still need to improve a couple of things and just try to get better each day."