From Sunday, November 14, Turin will host the eight best tennis players in the world for a week in 2021. Among them were for the first time in his career Hubert Hurkacz. The 24-year-old from Wroclaw has gone into the red group and will face Daniil Medvedev of Russia, Alexander Zverev of Germany and Matteo Berrettini of Italy. The green group includes Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, Russia’s Andrey Rublev and Norway’s Casper Ruud.
The best tennis players from each group will advance to the semi-finals. We spoke to Craig Boynton, the seasoned coach from the USA who has led in the past, among others, about Hurkacz’s chances and his fantastic year, as he rose from 34th to 9th in the ATP Ranking.in a. Gemma Corera.
Łukasz Jachimiak: Are you satisfied with your drawing?
Craig Boynton: I don’t know if anyone is satisfied or if anyone is not satisfied with this lottery. At the ATP Finals in Turin, there are only the best tennis players in the world at the moment, and they are all in good physical shape, so none of them will face any easy match. Hubert must be ready to take on tough rivals.
Hubert won this year with Roger Federer, and a few days ago he played superbly with Novak Djokovic. Is he mentally prepared to beat any competitor?
– I think Hubert has already shown that he is ready to win with everyone. After all, he outperforms everyone else. The exception is Djokovic. And Rafa Nadal, but Hobi did not play with him yet. The win over Novak was very close last weekend in Paris (Hurkach lost 6:3, 0:6, 6:7). But apart from that, Hubert had already won with Tsitsipas, twice with Rublev, defeated Medvedev at Wimbledon, and was very close to winning with him in Toronto. He played with Zverev once in 2019 and lost, but he was in a great position, leading 6:3, 4:3 and serving. In turn, he defeated Britney in 2019 in Miami. Hubi was losing to all of these competitors, but he also won with them. And that year he won three ATP tournaments, he was in the Wimbledon semi-finals, he was in the ATP finals and that means he’s more than ready to win with everyone else.
After the match in Paris, Djokovic said Hurkacz was the cutest guest on the tour. This opinion repeats itself over and over again. Is this really the most important feature in Hubert?
– If you think of him as a human and not a tennis player, then yes, it is one of his most important qualities. Hubert has an amazing personality, he is a wonderful person with an amazing heart. He is very considerate, honest and sincere. But these are Hubert’s traits of man. And as a tennis player, he wants to beat everyone, he is a strong opponent. Who always wants to win.
What does Hubbert appreciate the most? What have you improved the most this year?
On the professional side, what I appreciate most about him is that he is willing to work every day. Always. He is very responsible. He has a clear head, it is very easy to communicate. You can discuss any topic with him. I also want to say that his great achievement is the increase in self-confidence. I think when he comes into a game, he thinks that if he joins his side on the court, and if he carries out the plan, he will go to victory.
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And what’s missing Hubert?
– I don’t think he’s missing anything. But I also think that everything can be improved. It doesn’t matter where you rank, as long as you don’t wake up every day and try to improve every aspect of you games. Then you fall behind. Correct posture can help you improve by 2-3%. Throughout the year, you have to do it to stay on top. That’s why we wake up every day with our to-do list ready. It’s as obvious to us as brushing your teeth in the morning and evening.
Does Hubert remind you of any tennis player you’ve worked with?
– not necessarily. I treat everyone individually and every tennis player I’ve worked with has a different set of skills, traits, and disciplines. Hubi is an individual character. He plays in a completely different style to everyone I lead. The most beautiful thing about my job is that I help develop what someone has.
What is your goal for the ATP Finals? Would you say the goal is for Hubert to win or do you think differently?
– I always think the same thing before every tournament, so I have absolutely no doubt that Hubi can win. But I think more about how to prepare it to reach the highest level. Because if he plays the best he can, he wins. If not, he loses. That’s why I always focus on the state of play and the state of mind of Hubert.
Last season, Hubert finished 34th in the ATP rankings, now he’s ninth, and what could he be in a year?
– I never focused on the arrangement. I focus on seeing the Hubert match. If he stuck to that vision consistently, his ranking wouldn’t surprise me. But I don’t play with predicting his position because that doesn’t help me with my job.
Thinking of whether Hubert could win any Grand Slam tournament next year where he has the best chance?
– Again, it’s not my turn to expect. This is a task for you, the media and experts. But I would like to stress once again that if Hubi sticks to his game, he will have so much potential that he can win Grand Slam tournaments. I have no doubts about that.
A great season for you is coming to an end. Would you name the best moment, but also the one that was disappointing?
– That’s a good question, but really at the end of the season. after, after ATP Finals. Now, this most important tournament awaits us.
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