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Hurkacz powers past Korda to advance to Shanghai Masters final

Hubert Hurkacz Hubert Hurkacz - The Canadian Press

SHANGHAI (AP) — Seventh-ranked Andrey Rublev had mixed feelings after advancing to the final of the Shanghai Masters by beating Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (7), 6-3 on Saturday.

“It’s not easy when you win matches against friends, because you feel both sides,” Rublev said. “You feel sad, but at the same time you want to win.”

The fifth-seeded Rublev has not dropped a set this week but was pushed to the brink in the semifinals by the 18th-seeded Bulgarian in a high-tempo first set. Rublev saved a set point before eventually clinching a 76-minute opening set in a tiebreaker.

The Russian player then rallied from 2-0 down in the second set to win six of the last seven games and advance to his fourth Masters final and a meeting with Hubert Hurkacz on Sunday.

Earlier, Hurkacz served his way into the final with a dominant 6-3, 6-4 win over Sebastian Korda.

The 17th-ranked Polish player was untouchable on serve and didn't face a break point.

Hurkacz sent down 14 aces and denied Korda, who beat compatriot Ben Shelton in a quarterfinals thriller, any chance of finding his rhythm. As the pressure mounted on the 23-year-old American, Hurkacz pounced to take a vital break in each set to complete an impressive outing.

“I’m working on being difficult to play against,” Hurkacz said. “It’s the same with every opponent. They try to come out with their best foot forward that day and they’re trying to (implement) their tactics or plan against you. You’ve just got to stay mentally strong and really battle.”


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