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Ugo Humbert upsets Andrey Rublev to win first ATP 500 title in Halle
The 22-year-old Frenchman will rise to a new career-high of No. 25 on the ATP rankings on Monday.
Published Jun 20, 2021
After winning four consecutive three-setters in his first four matches of the week, Ugo Humbert saved his best for last on Sunday, beating Andrey Rublev, 6-3, 7-6 (4), to win his first ATP 500 title in Halle.
Five Top 10 players were in the draw at the grass-court event—No. 2 Daniil Medvedev, No. 6 Alexander Zverev, No. 7 Rublev, No. 8 Roger Federer and No. 10 Roberto Bautista Agut—but it was the No. 31-ranked, unseeded Humbert who came through and lifted the trophy in the end.
He actually took out Zverev along the way, too, beating the German in the second round.
“It’s incredible. It is the best victory of my career,” Humbert told ATPTour.com after the final. “I am very proud because it wasn’t easy. I was a little bit tired, but I tried to stay focused on each point and did what I could, so it is very nice.”
There was only one break of serve in the entire match, with Humbert breaking Rublev for a 5-3 lead in the first set and then serving it out. The two stayed on serve throughout the second set until the tie-break, where Humbert closed it out in straight sets after one hour and 24 minutes on court.
He’s the first man to win four matches in three sets en route to an ATP final then win that ATP final since Gilles Simon at Indianapolis in 2008. He’s the first to do it in Halle since Henri Leconte in 1993.
Humbert is also just the third man to beat Rublev at an ATP 500 since last September. The Russian had won 29 of his last 31 matches at this level going into Sunday’s final in Halle, picking up titles at Hamburg, St. Petersburg and Vienna last fall and Rotterdam this year. The only two losses came against Aslan Karatsev in the Dubai semifinals and to Jannik Sinner in the Barcelona quarterfinals this year.
With his wins over No. 6 Zverev and No. 7 Rublev this week, Humbert is now 4-3 lifetime against Top 10 players. He’s actually 4-1 against them since last September with wins over Medvedev in Hamburg and Stefanos Tsitsipas in Paris, but a loss to Rublev at Roland Garros.
The 22-year-old Frenchman will now rise from No. 31 to No. 25 on Monday’s ATP rankings, jumping over his previous career-high of No. 29. He’s one of only two French players, male or female, to be ranked in the Top 40 of the ATP or WTA rankings at the moment, alongside No. 16 Gael Monfils.