Hubert Hurkacz overcame Egor Gerasimov in four sets – 6-2 7-6(3) 6-7(5) 6-3 – to progress to the second round of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
And Hurkacz – ranked 11th in the world – will face Adrian Mannarino in round 2, but no matter how far the Polish star goes in the tournament, it is unlikely that he will produce a better shot then in the ninth game of the fourth set on day 1.
On the cusp of breaking his opponent’s serve at 40-30, he produced a diving, magical volley to put himself to within one game of the next round. It led to superlatives from the commentary box.
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“Ohh, he has made it,” began Peter Marcato. “It's something special from Hubert Hurkacz!”
“That is the shot of the day by some margin! Incredible reach!”
Hurkacz’s coach Craig Boynton looked non-plussed sat in the stands, prompting Marc Lucero to add:
“Craig Boynton, you can do better than a little golf clap! That was an unbelievable volley at full stretch!”
However, in his post-match press conference, Hurkacz joked it wasn't even in his top three diving volleys.
"Yeah, I think that was like my fourth-best diving volley of all time. It's good (smiling). It's pretty good," said Hurkacz.
"No, definitely was a good volley in the crucial moment. So I'm happy with this one, that I made it."
The 24-year-old then addressed the tricky nature of first-round matches.
"No, it's very tricky," he added. "All the players are great players here. It's not like someone is ranked a bit lower -- I mean, obviously being ranked a bit higher you're favorite to win and you have maybe a little bit more experience.
"But, no, definitely everyone wants to win here, wants to make an upset, and wants to compete as hard as he can and she can."
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