Fritz & Hurkacz Step In For Exhibition Match At ATP Finals After Tsitsipas' Sudden Retirement

Fritz & Hurkacz Step In For Exhibition Match At ATP Finals After Tsitsipas' Sudden Retirement

by Evita Mueller

Quite an interesting situation happened at the 2023 ATP Finals today when alternates Hubert Hurkacz and Taylor Fritz stepped in for an exhibition match to fill the gap.

This year's ATP Finals alternates are Taylor Fritz and Hubert Hurkacz. Neither really expected to play but the first alternate Hurkacz might actually get a chance to do so after Stefanos Tsitsipas' 2023 ATP Finals campaign seems to be over.

The Greek player was supposed to play Holger Rune at 14:30 local time today, and while the match started, it didn't last long. Down 2-1 in the opening set, Tsitsipas called the trainer, and after a brief consultation, the Greek player opted to retire.

He's dealt with an elbow issue ahead of the event, canceling multiple practices. In that sense, the retirement is not a surprise, as many expected it to come against Jannik Sinner in the previous match.

He finished that one but couldn't really play this one, so he retired. It's unlikely that he'll play his final match, which will give Hubert Hurkacz a chance to play at the ATP Finals once more.

The Polish player missed out on qualification but will ultimately play two matches at the event. This first one is an exhibition match against Taylor Fritz as the organizers quickly scrambled to give the packed arena a tennis match after the original one ended after three games.

Tickets are very expensive for the ATP Finals, and the crowd heavily booing Tsitispas confirms that they weren't happy. Luckily, they'll get to watch some tennis even though it's not the match they paid for.

Hurkacz and Fritz are very good players, and both have played in Turin before, so it should've been a decent replacement for the fans. However, the American was still apparently struggling with an injury, and the fans didn't fully get what they expected.

It was a match in which Fritz was playing maybe at 30% of his capabilities, and the crowd quickly saw it. They even booed the American, who wasn't really happy, as he was just trying to entertain them after the previous match ended prematurely.

The result was quite straightforward. After less than 30 minutes of play, Hurkacz beat Fritz 6-3, as only one set was scheduled to be played.


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