ATP : Hubert Hurkacz captures Shanghai crown

The amiable Pole joined the likes of Zheng Qinwen and Jessica Pegula in the winner's circle over the weekend.

Hubert Hurkacz / Open 13 Marseille©Corinne Dubreuil / FFT
 - Alex Sharp

The Asian Swing is in full flight as the 2023 season builds to a crescendo.

It was another busy week across the ATP and WTA rosters. Here are the key headlines you might have missed...

Hubi hailed champion in thriller

The Rolex Shanghai Masters treat their top seeds to personalised locker rooms with their photo across the door.

Next season Hubert Hurkacz will join that corridor as the reigning champion.

Top seed Carlos Alcaraz fell in the Last 16 to a rejuvenated Grigor Dimitrov, whilst Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Holger Rune all departed early. 

It was a Masters 1000 where youth ranks shone, with local superstar Zhang Zhizhen notching up an historic fourth round ticket for a Chinese player in Shanghai, Americans Ben Shelton and Sebastian Korda also dazzled.

By Sunday it was left to Hurkacz and Andrey Rublev to duel for their second Masters 1000 title and they put on an almighty show.

The Pole, thriving once again on the big occasions to boost his tour-level final record to 7-1, fended off championship point to prevail 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(8) to add to his Miami Masters triumph in 2021.

The world No.11, rising six spots, revealed it was one of the most exciting matches he's competed in.

"I definitely think so. It's the final of Masters Series, and we both have match points in the tiebreaker. We're just battling, we both have some chances," said Hurkacz, escaping from match point down at 5-6 in the decisive tie-break.

"Super pumped at the end to battle and win that last point. Andrey was playing some really good tennis, and I knew I got to produce the shots, so I was just trying to stay out there and compete as hard as I could and to keep positive self-talk and then keep the belief until the end."

The 26-year-old rises to 11th in the 'Race to Turin' for the season-ending Finals next month, lying just 335 ranking points off Holger Rune in the eighth and last spot.

"Coming to this couple of weeks, starting here in Shanghai, I knew if I got to give myself a chance, I need to be winning tournaments, so that's a pretty good start," stated the Pole.

"Just amazing week here in Shanghai. I really enjoyed it here with the team, but ultimately, we just want to get better every single day and improve, enjoy those moments, but we're just going to try our best and then just keep fighting and keep competing."

Sing when you're winning Qinwen

The 2022 WTA Newcomer of the Year Zheng Qinwen continues to keep building momentum this season.

The Chinese No.1 proved her progression with a quarter-finals ticket the the US Open last month and has now claimed her second singles title with a comeback victory on home soil.

Zheng reeled in Roland-Garros 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova 2-6, 6-2, 6-4 at the WTA 500 Zhengzhou Open, before breaking into some spirited karaoke during the trophy presentation.

"When I was on the court finishing the last point, I was feeling super happy," said the 21-year-old.

"All the crowd yelling for me, they supported me in full, in that moment, the feeling was unexplainable. It’s a lot of pressure, you could see in the match. There were a lot of ups and downs, but at the end, I’m really happy to win this match and to beat such a great opponent in the final."

A title close to Pegula's heart

World No.4 Jessica Pegula raised her second silverware of the season with a 6-2, 6-3 scoreline over Yuan Yue at the Korea Open.

The 29-year-old's mother is Korean, prompting the American to update her fans with a heartfelt message on social media.

"This one is extra special. I am half Korean. I don’t speak Korean and I am still learning about my culture (my mom was adopted and left on a doorstep of a Korean police station) but I have been overwhelmed by the support from Korean fans," Pegula posted on Instagram.

"My mom visited her orphanage here when I played this event 4 years ago. It was the first time she felt open about learning about her past. Her health struggles the past year made this tournament a goal to win. It has been such an honor to play in front of you."

Elsewhere, Canadian Leylah Fernandez paid tribute to her dedicated team, having secured her first title of 2023.

The 2021 US Open finalist dug deep to see off Katerina Siniakova 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in a compelling Hong Kong final just shy of three hours.

In doing so, the 21-year-old returns to the world Top 50 courtesy of notable wins over Victoria Azarenka, Mirra Andreeva and Linda Fruhvirtova.

"Dreams transformed into reality through hard work and dedication. This victory is not just mine, but a shared triumph with each of you who stood by me," said the world No.43. "Your unwavering support fuelled every point on the court. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."