"He's bigger than the sport" says Hubert Hurkacz after dealing dismal defeat to Rafael Nadal at Rome Open

Saturday, 11 May 2024 at 16:30
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Hubert Hurkacz is through to the Last 32 after a 6-1, 6-3 win over Rafael Nadal in which he dealt out a dismal defeat to the legendary Spaniard who seemingly says farewell to the Rome Open with a pretty poor defeat.
While Nadal perhaps hasn't come up against a player of Hurkacz' calibre so far barring perhaps Alex de Minaur, it serves as a crushing blow as he looks to compete in his final French Open and give himself as well as the fans a real chance of a 15th and final title.
The Pole was very much pleased with the win but from the point of view of beating a true sporting icon who Hurkacz said is bigger than the sport. It was the first and only time they've played so he could end Nadal's career with a 100% winning record against him. As well as ticking a box that most players want to tick. Next is Tomas Martin Etcheverry, another clay court specialist. But today is all about the Nadal win.
“I’m definitely really proud of myself,” said Hurkacz after the win. “Playing Rafa is something special. It’s just different, especially being on clay, the surface that he has just dominated over the past 20 years. No one will ever have a record like him on this surface.
“He’s just bigger than the sport at the end of the day. So many people follow him and he inspired so many guys, so I’m just really happy to have had that experience today.”

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