TennisSection previews the 2021 Paris Masters as Hubert Hurkacz takes on James Duckworth in the quarterfinals on Friday, November 5th, 2021.
Will Hubert Hurkacz qualify for the ATP Finals with a win on Friday at the Paris Masters? Will James Duckworth dent the Pole’s hopes? We take a look at a clash of styles between two players who have performed with distinction in 2021.
Hubert Hurkacz played with fire for a set and a half against Dominik Koepfer. He trailed by a set and a break and had one foot out of the tournament. But the energetic Pole navigated his way out of that minefield unscathed with some clutch serving and a drop off in form from the lucky loser. Koepfer has won a few admirers this week at the Paris Masters following his two eye-catching victories over the likes of Andy Murray (saving seven match points) and Felix Auger-Aliassime. And his beautifully expressive forehand had terrorized Hurkacz for a set and half. But the World No. 10 came from a behind to win 4-6 7-5 6-2 and is now in pole position to reach the ATP Finals if he beats James Duckworth.
Opponent James Duckworth has enjoyed another deep run an ATP tournament. But this is unchartered waters for the Australian World No. 55 who is now in his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal. Duckworth toppled compatriot Alexei Popyrin 7-6 6-4 in an hour and 47 minutes of play to get there. He recovered from a 1-3 deficit in the first set and clinched a nail-biting tiebreak. In the second set, neither player looked capable of protecting their serve effectively, until the more experienced Duckworth managed to do so. He broke Popyrin in the ninth game before serving it out.
Hubert Hurkacz and James Duckworth will play for the first time on the ATP Tour on Friday at the Paris Masters. The World No. 10 Hurkacz needs one more win to guarantee his place at the ATP Finals. Cameron Norrie’s defeat to Taylor Fritz, compounded with his own comeback win over Koepfer puts him in the ascendancy. But as this week has shown, nerves are bound to kick in. Hurkacz will be keen to avoid that high seed tumble. He plays an in-form player in Duckworth who has won a title indoors this year on the Challenger Tour. If the Polish man resuscitates the level he showed in that third set against Koepfer, he should be able to keep Duckworth at bay.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Hubert Hurkacz to win in two tight sets.
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