10 Jan Hurkacz Looks Comfortable in Delray Debut
By STEVE DORSEY
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. – Hubert Hurkacz says he doesn’t put too much thought into where he’s seeded in a given tournament. There’s one intriguing fact regarding his seeding that might interest him, however, here at the Delray Beach Open by Vitacost.com.
Hurkacz is the No. 4 seed here this week. And the No. 4 seed at Delray Beach has won the title six times, the most of any seed in the tournament’s history.
Hurkacz, who received a first-round bye, made his Delray Beach debut Sunday afternoon at the Delray Beach Tennis Center by making quick work of Daniel Elahi Galan, needing only 59 minutes to notch a 6-2, 6-2 victory and pencil his name into the Monday quarterfinals. Hurkacz is the only seeded player remaining in the top half of the 28-player field singles bracket.
“Everyone can play here, so it’s not like the seeds really matter,” Hurkacz said following his debut win here. “(This win) gives me confidence for the coming rounds, and hopefully I can stay here a little bit longer.”
Hurkacz’s dominating performance against Galan was further testimony that the 23-year-old Pole is a player to closely watch on the ATP Tour. He has been on a steady climb up the ATP world rankings and arrived here ranked No. 35. He credits much of his improvement to the guidance of Craig Boynton, who became his coach in 2019.
“I’m feeling pretty confident, pretty good about the preparation, the stuff we did with (coach Craig Boynton), and I’m proud of my performance today. . . . I was playing pretty consistent (against Galan).”
Hurkacz was particularly efficient on Galan’s second serves. The 24-year-old Colombian won only 24 percent (4-of-17) of his second-serve points, as Hurkacz basically took the racquet out of Galan’s hands and was never pushed in the match.
“You come into the (first) match (of the season) and not playing for awhile and you don’t know what to expect from yourself,” Hurkacz said. “This was pretty good. So I’m happy.”
Hurkacz will next face Roberto Quiroz who reached his first career ATP quarterfinal with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ivo Karlovic.
“It’s an amazing amazing feeling for me,” said Quiroz. “I’m pretty proud of how I played today, how I handled my emotions.”
Ecuador’s Quiroz had great junior success, winning the doubles titles at both the French Open and US Open in 2010. However, he opted to attend college and was a two-time All-American while helping the University of Southern California win a pair of NCAA team titles.
On Sunday night, the 28-year-old lost just five points on serve in the straight sets win.
“I felt that that was key for me,” Quiroz said of his serving. “I knew if I were serving that way, I could focus on returning, so I think it went really well.”
Quiroz is the first player from Ecuador to reach an ATP quarterfinal since his cousin, Nicholas Lapentti, at Cincinnati in 2008. His uncle is former French Open champion Andres Gomez.
The 41-year-old Karlovic, the 2015 Delray Beach Open champion, became the oldest player to win an ATP Tour match since 42-year-old Jimmy Connors won on Halle in 1995 with his first round win on Friday.
Monday’s quarterfinal will be the first meeting between Quiroz and Hurkacz. This will be the first meeting between the two.