On Friday, world No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz earned a massive, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 6-1 win over the red-hotNick Kyrgios. Now, Hurkacz has a semifinal match-up against world No. 7 Casper Ruud at the National Bank Open in Montreal. These two met at this year’s French Open, where Ruud came away with a 6-2, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory in the fourth round. But the clay surface gave Ruud a notable advantage. With this rematch being on hard courts, Hurkacz is going to like his chances a lot more.

While Ruud is proficient on all surfaces, clay has easily been his best court early in his career. He’s a ridiculous 100-37 in tour-level matches on the dirt, while Hurkacz is just 18-20. It just wasn’t a fair fight when they met at Roland Garros. However, Hurkacz is 84-61 on hard courts in his career, and Ruud is just 52-42. This is just going to be a much better forum for the Pole to prove he’s the better player between these two.


Ruud has put together an impressive run in Canada thus far, as he has already earned wins over world No. 16 Roberto Bautista-Agut and world No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime. But neither one of those victories was as meaningful as Hurkacz’s over Kyrgios. There aren’t many players in the world that are currently playing at a higher level than the Australian. But Hurkacz was able to gather himself after losing the second set and impose his will on Kyrgios in the third. It was never in doubt in the decider, and the match served as a reminder of just how good Hurkacz can play.

While Ruud has a rock-solid all-court game, Hurkacz moves unbelievably well for a player his size and similarly has very few holes in his game. The difference between the two is that Hurkacz is one of the better servers on tour, and you better believe his career-high 90.4% hold percentage will be a big factor in the outcome of this match. Ruud is a good returner of serve, but it’s hard to see him getting too many opportunities to break in these conditions. With that said, Hurkacz can separate himself in this match by just breaking once or twice. And even if he can’t, you’d have to think that his big serve will give him the advantage in tiebreakers.

This match might not be easy to call, but we just like Hurkacz’s chances—especially at this price. Let’s get back on track with a big victory for the Pole here.

The Pick: Hurkacz To Win (-106)