Hubert Hurkacz: A calming force
Known for his ability to form firm friendships with his playing peers, the popular ‘Hubi’ brings both team spirit and strong playing credentials to his Laver Cup debut.
He is, says teammate Casper Ruud, the type of person who spreads joy and is kind to everyone.
“Sometimes I watch his matches, it almost feels like he would lose a match because he is too kind to win the match because he would feel bad for his opponent. I will tell him, ‘Don’t feel bad for Team World. If you are in the lead you have to crush them,” explains Ruud.
Poland’s best male player in history is widely thought of as being one of the nicest guys on tour, armed with a serve that gives him an advantage over most players.
The six-time ATP singles titlist packs his game with power and remains calm under pressure. His cool-headed approach was influenced by family members who also excelled in sport.
His mother, Zosia, was a former Polish junior tennis champion, who introduced Hubert to the game at age five. His uncles, Lech and Tomek, were also tennis players and his grandfather played volleyball at an international level.
How it’s going
Hurkacz peaked at world No.9 late in 2021, the year he claimed the biggest of six singles titles at Miami, upsetting five seeds to lift a first ATP Masters 1000 trophy. On grass that year, he upset 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon.
In 2023, the 6’5″ Hurkacz won his sixth title at Marseille. Elsewhere his best results were a semifinal finish at the Cincinnati Masters and Stuttgart, and making the quarterfinals of the ATP 500 in Dubai.
In Grand Slam action, he reached the fourth round at Australian Open 2023 and Wimbledon, pushing finalist Novak Djokovic to four sets on grass and proving himself a threat on all surfaces.
Hurkacz at the Laver Cup
Along with his natural positivity, victory for Hurkacz lies in his confidence to overpower opponents with his serve. “To have that weapon helps me hold my serve and it suits my aggressive game,” he says.
He is also buoyed by the prospect of sharing Team Europe’s mission in Vancouver and overthrowing defending champions Team World with a bench full of quality players.
“Being in a team atmosphere with so many great players, that’s really special to having a team event,” he says.
“Team Europe has got to be strong this year, I’m really excited to be part of it. A super cool event with an amazing atmosphere.”
“To win the Laver Cup we need to get 13 points. What I am looking forward to most is being in this environment and playing my best on the tennis court.”