ATP Halle: Ugo Humbert tops Andrey Rublev to take Roger Federer’s trophy

The 22-year-old Frenchman Ugo Humbert claimed the third ATP title and the first at the ATP 500 level in Halle after beating Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6 in an hour and 24 minutes. The young Frenchman won two ATP 250 titles in 2020, not playing that well in the current season before Halle but changing all that to leave Germany with the trophy and 500 points on his tally. On the other hand, Andrey failed to claim another ATP 500 crown, losing serve only once and missing two chances on the return that cost him dearly. Ugo fired 29 winners and 17 unforced errors, dominating with his serve and forehand and prevailing in the crucial moments to emerge at the top and give himself a massive boost ahead of Wimbledon. A left-hander closed the opening game with an ace before Rublev held at love to get his name on the scoreboard. Then, Ugo blasted a service winner for a perfect hold in game three, followed by Andrey, who also fired an unreturned serve for 2-2.

Both players served well in games five, six and seven to move closer to a tie break. Instead of that, Rublev played a loose service game at 3-4 and sprayed a backhand error to find himself behind. The Frenchman had to work hard in the ninth game, wasting two set points before offering two break chances to the Russian.

Ugo Humbert defeated Andrey Rublev in Halle for the first ATP 500 title.

Humbert saved both with powerful serves and seized the fourth set point when Rublev sprayed a backhand mistake. The second set saw no opportunities for the returners, with 12 commanding holds and an inevitable tie break. Ugo fired an ace in the second game and held at love in game four to keep the pressure on the other side.

From 30-15 down, Andrey closed the seventh game with three straight points to stay on the positive side, waiting patiently for some chances on the return. Instead of that, Humbert held at 30 with a service winner in the tenth game, and they reached a tie break two games later. Serving at 4-4, Andrey netted an easy forehand that gave Ugo a mini-break he needed before the Frenchman created two match points with a forehand winner. Humbert landed another forehand winner at 6-4 to seal the deal and claim the biggest title of his young career. 

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