Humbert came through Tennis Channel's specialty shoot prior to launching his Indian Wells campaign.

INDIAN WELLS, Calif.—Ugo Humbert knows what it means to be in-the-pocket behind the 88 keys of a piano.

As he’s demonstrated so far in 2024, Humbert has found the right tempo on the tennis court as well. With two titles, three Top 10 wins and a career-best ranking of No. 14, the Frenchman is rocking out harder than ever these days.

On Monday, the 14-3 Humbert squares off against Tommy Paul for a place in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open. sat down with the 25-year-old left-hander at Indian Wells to chat about the good and hard times, having the right people in one’s corner and leaning into music as an outlet for relaxation.

You've always been a person who smiles a lot, but it seems like you’re in a different sweet spot right now. How good are you feeling, winning trophies aside?

HUMBERT: I always smile since I started on the tour. I think it's because of my mom. She's like that and always try to say, ‘Okay, life is beautiful. You have to enjoy what you do every day.’ And that's it.


Dubai, coming off quite the title run. Want to ask about the Hurkacz match. That third match point you saved took a lot of guts to win that rally. Do you feel like that was a point that maybe you might not have won a couple of years ago?

HUMBERT: Yeah. Mentally, I'm more solid than a few years ago. This match, Hurkacz could win it. It was only one point. So sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I was in the same case last year. I had some match points against Sonego and I lost the match. It’s a beautiful story when you win the title and you save the match points, so it's great.

How proud are you of the way you came through the challenges thrown your way in 2022 to be where you are now: No. 1 French player on the ATP, Top 15 debut… It must mean a lot to be able to show yourself this level of determination?

HUMBERT: Yeah, it gave me some confidence because two years ago it was a tough time for me. I had COVID twice, bad reaction from the COVID. I couldn't practice. After 30 minutes, I was cramping. I was outside the Top 150. My team and Jeremy Chardy helped me a lot. We build something positive all together. And now, I'm at my best ranking. It’s a nice feeling.

On Jeremy and Tessah (Andrianjafitrimo). How much are you a person who thrives on having a constant presence around you? They have been two rocks it seems.

HUMBERT: Yeah, they are two person really important in my life. I know that I'm really lucky to have them. They are so positive. They always want the best for me so I know I can trust them. And I think it's important to have this kind of person in your team, around yourself. That's why I feel happy and great on the tour.


Humbert came through Tennis Channel's specialty shoot prior to launching his Indian Wells campaign.

Humbert came through Tennis Channel's specialty shoot prior to launching his Indian Wells campaign.

We’ve seen that happiness extend to social media, too. Some people are familiar with your piano background but you’ve been sharing some clips of your acoustic guitar skills lately. What’s inspired devoting more time to that instrument?

HUMBERT: I love music. It's my second passion after tennis. I'm much better in piano because I studied at the same time as tennis, at five years old. After that, I studied at 12 to play some guitar. It’s a little bit difficult to play a piano now, because I always travel and it is not easy to bring with me. So that's why I took guitar two years ago and I start to learn, to play a little bit more. It’s nice to think about something else and not tennis. That's why I play guitar.

Are you self-taught? Do you watch lessons on YouTube? How do you grow your musicianship?

HUMBERT: I watch some video on YouTube. But I'm not super good, so I try to watch beginner lessons. It’s super fun. With my girlfriend, she sings. We are doing a great duo together.

Have a genre that you gravitate towards?

HUMBERT: I love rock and roll. I love a French song. I can play everything.

It’s obviously early in the season, but just given where you are, is Turin a reasonable goal you want to shoot for this year?

HUMBERT: For sure. I did the best beginning of the year since I'm on tour, and it's nice because we did some great work together. I have big goals for this year. I will try to do it.