Sports | December 2, 2021 9:53 am

Rising Star Hubert Hurkacz Is the ATP Tour’s Resident McLaren Guy

If you need to find the 24-year-old Polish player at a tennis tournament, just look for the most expensive car in town

Polish tennis star Hubert “Hubi” Hurkacz poses with a McLaren
Polish tennis star Hubert “Hubi” Hurkacz is a huge McLaren fan.
Hubert Hurkacz

In addition to his acceleration up the ATP rankings this year (he currently sits at no. 9), Polish tennis star Hubert Hurkacz has been doing a more traditional type of accelerating this year — in a rotating fleet of supercars, thanks to a partnership with McLaren.

Hurkacz tells InsideHook that as a child, he had a poster featuring the U.K.-based automaker’s limited-production P1 on his wall. Now, at just 24, the 2021 Miami Open champion is driving one.

“The first time I had a chance to drive a McLaren was in 2019. I was so excited about it and super cautious as well,” he says. “To be able to get in one of those machines and travel for a couple of hours was so enjoyable. Just sitting there, the view, and of course the ride. The quality of the interior, how low it is to the ground — it just appeals to me. You just feel special being inside that machine. The attention to detail is insane in all aspects of the car. When you step out of it, you can admire the way it looks and appreciate what you’ve just driven.”

According to Hurkacz, the time he has spent inside McLaren’s machines, including driving a 720S to the BNP Paribas Open in California and a GT to the U.S. Open in New York City, has had an impact on his performance on the court.

“I think what I do in my free time off the court influences my game and how I’m able to recover and recharge my batteries after matches and tournaments,” he says. “I think it helps a lot to follow your passions. Driving also requires focus, which is super important in sports and a huge part of the game in tennis. You can foresee what’s going to happen in the next seconds. There’s the hand-eye coordination too. I think that helps as well.”

“The fastest speed I’ve gone in my life is around 180 miles per hour,” he says. “Driving that fast in that car … it’s tough to compare to something else. I don’t have much experience racing and will need a lot of practice, but I would maybe try it. That would be something interesting.”

What’s not interesting to Hurkacz? Listening to music or podcasts while driving.

 “I prefer the engine sound,” he says. “It’s pretty loud. So I just like focusing on driving and listening to the engine.”

Increasingly recognized by some of his peers as the guy who rolls up to events in a McLaren (“a couple of players are already saying that,” he says), Hurkacz is hoping to be linked with the supercar marque in one additional way: “I’d like to be as good as the car.”

If you ask most McLaren enthusiasts, that means he’s going straight to the top.