Tennis-Hurkacz downs Zverev to set up Halle final with Sinner

tennis-hurkacz downs zverev to set up halle final with sinner

FILE PHOTO: Hubert Hurkacz, Stade Roland Garros, June 2. Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - Poland's Hubert Hurkacz moved one step closer to his second Halle Open title when he beat home favourite Alexander Zverev 7-6(2) 6-4 on Saturday to set up a final against his doubles partner and world number one Jannik Sinner.

Zverev had beaten Hurkacz in their three previous meetings but the Pole was virtually unstoppable on serve, firing 17 aces and saving four break points to get the better of the German who finished runner-up at the French Open this month.

"It needed to be really good. He is such a good competitor and is playing good tennis, reaching the final at the French (Open) and playing at a really high level," Hurkacz said.

"I am really confident on my serve, I'm serving really good. There were some moments but I managed to believe in my game and hit some good serves and good shots, so I stayed pretty calm.

"I really love grass. The surface suits my game and the atmosphere here, having the full crowd is incredible."

World number four Zverev was twice a finalist in Halle, losing in 2016 and 2017.

Sinner beat China's 42nd-ranked Zhang Zhizhen 6-4 7-6(3) to reach the first grasscourt final of his career.

While Hurkacz has yet to drop a set at Halle, Sinner came through three consecutive three-setters before his semi-final as the top seed took time to adapt to the surface.

"It's going to be very even, he plays so well on this surface. He's won here, he knows this occasion really well," Sinner said on facing Hurkacz in Sunday's final, three days after the pair went out in the doubles quarter-finals in Halle.

"I'm excited, I'm going to enjoy tomorrow. Every time you play a final it's a huge pleasure and honour. He's serving really well, it's very, very tough to break him."

Sinner will be looking to become the first man since Andy Murray in 2016 to win his first event after reaching the top of the rankings.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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