Reuters: Paul Hubert Horkcatch was in the top 20 for the first time in his career on Sunday after winning his first 1000 Masters title at the Miami Open tennis tournament. His victory provided an additional “motivation” for success.

The 24-year-old defeated Yannick Sener 7-6 (4) 6-4 in the men’s final, when several double faults in the match cost his 19-year-old Italian opponent.

He told reporters after the match, “Of course, I tried to be as strong as possible because he can hit the balls with maximum force … If you let him, he will go around.”

“So I just tried to keep my pace and fight for every ball.”

Horkac defeated powerful players such as Greece’s Stephanos Tsitsipas and Russia’s Eighth Andrei Rublev in the quarter-finals and semi-finals on his way to the biggest victory of his career, a victory he would surely enjoy.

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“I had a lot of self-confidence … if I won such a tournament you would gain more motivation and confidence,” said Horkach, who is currently ranked 16th in the world.

“You can do it like you are going through a really hard time.”

Hurkacz sometimes performed well in the hot and mild conditions of Miami, having spent nearly half of the last year in Florida. In January, she won the Delray Beach Open Championship as well.

“I was strong throughout the tournament and managed to get through each round. I was more excited about the next round. I think this is a special thing for me,” he said.

“My tennis is constantly improving.”

(Covering by Aimee Tenry, edited by Hemani Sarkar)