The 24-year-old, currently ninth in the FedEx ATP Race To Turin, produced a dominant performance against 2016 champion Pouille, breaking three times as he dictated with his powerful groundstrokes to advance after 68 minutes.
“It was a good match from my side,” Hurkacz said in his on-court interview. “Lucas is a great player, he is playing very aggressively. He is coming back and I have high hopes I will see him closer to the Top 10, he has the game. It was really great to play here in front of you guys, it was a lot of fun.”
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Hurkacz, who was competing for the first time since his second-round exit to Andreas Seppi at the US Open, now leads Pouille 3-1 in their ATPHead2Head Series and will next face former World No. 1 Andy Murray.
“I was able to practise here a couple of times on this court, so that helped for sure. I played two doubles matches with my friend [Jan Zielinski],” Hurkacz added. “I really enjoy playing here and it is nice to see the crowd. It is always a great atmosphere.”
The Pole is aiming to win his third tour-level title of the season on hard courts this week, after capturing titles in Delray Beach and Miami.
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The 32-year-old, who lifted the trophy in Metz in 2017, enjoyed a run to the fourth round at a major for the first time at the US Open. The World No. 101 will next face Marcos Giron after the American upset fourth-seeded Australian Alex de Minaur 7-5, 7-6(5) to improve to 2-1 in their ATPHead2Head Series.