Top seed Carlos Alcaraz takes on last year’s runner-up Hubert Hurkacz in the Third Round of the 2023 National Bank…
Top seed Carlos Alcaraz takes on last year’s runner-up Hubert Hurkacz in the Third Round of the 2023 National Bank Open in Toronto on Thursday.
One of the stand-out ties of the Round of 16 sees the reigning Wimbledon champion face the big-serving Pole at the Sobeys Stadium.
Alcaraz is appearing in his first event since his fairy-tale triumph at SW19 last month – where he dethroned Novak Djokovic in an epic final to claim his second career Grand Slam title.
The 20-year-old sensation, who held down the world number one spot in the process, is now targeting a fifth ATP 1000 title, having claimed glory at Indian Wells and the Madrid Open this year.
Alcaraz is also gearing up for his US Open title defence at Flushing Meadows later this month and has won 11 of his 12 hard court matches so far this term.
He is featuring at this stage of the Canadian Open for the first time, following a straight sets win over America’s Ben Shelton on Wednesday.
The Spaniard needed a second set tie break to see off Shelton and avert success Second Round exits in Toronto, and now faces a tough test against the number 15 seed.
Hurkacz was left to rue what might have been 12 months ago when he squandered a one set lead in an eventual defeat to Pablo Carreño Busta in the final here.
The 26-year-old claimed his only previous ATP 1000 title at the 2021 Miami Open and went on to reach the Semi-Finals of Wimbledon that season.
It took Djokovic to deny Hurkacz in four sets in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon this year and he was also beaten at that stage of the Australian Open.
Hurkacz has overcome Alexander Bublik and Miomir Kecmanović, recovering from a set down in the latter match to set up a blockbuster tie with the sport’s man of the moment.
Their only previous meeting came at the 2022 Miami Masters – where Alcaraz needed two tie-breakers to edge through.
Their latest encounter gets under way from around 12am BST (5pm local time) and will be contested over the best of three sets.
Either 12th seed Tommy Paul or qualifier Marcos Giron will await the winner in the Quarter-Finals on Friday.
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