Roger Federer makes classy Hubert Hurkacz admission | Tennis | Sport


Hurkacz has risen from No 212 to No 67 in the ATP Tour rankings with his run to the last eight.

The 22-year-old has defeated Donald Young, Lucas Pouille, Kei Nishikori and Denis Shapovalov to get this far – winning in three sets in all of those three most recent matches.

And Hurkacz also knocked out world No 7 Nishikori in the Dubai Tennis Championships last month.

His reward will be a first career meeting with 20-time Grand Slam champion Federer.

The Swiss icon – who won the title in Dubai – has been in scintillating form himself of late, sending Stan Wawrinka and Kyle Edmund out in straight sets in his last two matches.

And Federer insists he has previous experience of the tour’s rising star and is glad to see him enjoying success.

“Yeah it’s one of those great stories and really interesting to follow,” the 37-year-old – who is gunning for a record sixth Indian Wells win in the desert – said.

“He also played in the Next Gen Finals with all the guys. 

“He’s part of that group who’s really doing very well. 

“I practiced with him, he warmed me up for one of the matches in Shanghai after he lost I think in a Challenger event over there and I was still in the tournament. 

“I remember in the warm-up he barely made any mistakes but every time he made a mistake he apologised. 

“He’s a really nice guy, seems very sweet. I’m happy for him that he’s playing so well. 

“Beating Nishikori Dubai and here back-to-back, now Shapovalov. that’s some effort. 

“That shows what he’s got and what we’ll see of him in the future. I’m looking forward to the match of course.”

Federer earned his 100th career title in Dubai and having watched Novak Djokovic go out, his chances of an 101st triumph have increased significantly.

He could face long-time rival Rafael Nadal in the semi finals if he gets past Hurkacz and insists he is in strong shape.

Federer added: “I’m feeling great, not feeling any tiredness from Dubai or whatever I’ve played here. 

“I haven’t been playing every day and we’ve had enough time in between so I’m really happy actually how I started all the matches, I can be really happy of that. 

“Being in the lead always helps, you can play more freely. I’ve had to fight in some of the matches, naturally. But I’m clearly really looking forward to the quarters now.”

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