Davidovich serves during the match against Hurkacz. / EFE

Davidovich beaten by powerful Hurkacz at the Madrid Open

The match was resolved in a third-set tiebreak, as the Rincón tennis player fell to his opponent in the capital after being on the back foot all afternoon

PEDRO LUIS ALONSO

Alejandro Davidovich (ranked 29th) was knocked out of the Madrid Open tennis on Wednesday afternoon, losing to Hubert Hurkacz (14th) 4-6, 6-4 and 6-7 (5), with the match being decided on a third-set tiebreak. Despite the home crowd pressuring the Polish tennis player, Davidovich’s opponent ultimately prevailed thanks to the strength of his serve.

The Rincón de la Victoria local let slip another tightly-contested match in 2022, a year in which he is learning ways to keep his cool in moments of truth that will help him in the coming months of his career. The Andalusian was especially motivated to play in the Madrid Masters, with a draw that could have seen him face off against Djokovic.

But Davidovich found himself exiting in the round of 16. Similar to what happened last week against Harris in Estoril, it was a case of calmly warding off a constant stream of 220 km/h serves from his opponent, but that meant that Davidovich’s eye was off the ball, and he never took the strides to overturn his constant point deficit.

The match was affected by a light drizzle which eventually led to a 25-minute halt, as both players were concerned about sliding and injuring themselves. Davidovich was down 3-4 but 30-0 up, though Hurkacz showed no mercy and wrapped up the first set, denying the Spaniard a chance of breaking his serve.

Countering the setbacks

The Rincón local continued his shaky start and got himself into a fix in the second set and broke Pole’s serve on his seventh attempt, eventually closing the second set 6-4, though it took him a while as he was 5-1 up at one point.

Davidovich had the win snatched from him in the last set. The Spaniard was able to turn around a lot of mishaps: he reacted well to going 1-3 down with a counterbreak; he avoided a first matchball with an ace; and he was also 1-3 down in the tiebreak.

There was a key moment when the tiebreak went 4-3 in Davidovich’s favour that saw Hurkacz revive his chances of winning, as the Andalusian blew his chance of a break. Twenty minutes after the first match ball came the second, and this time the Polish player did not fail with an indisputable serve that saw him wrap up the match.

Davidovich will now travel to Italy for the Rome Masters. He’ll be unseeded and will have to go through a qualification round, though he could make it straight through if someone pulls out due to an injury.