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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 3, 2020

Ugo Humbert

Hugo Humbert survived a three-hour, three-tiebreak battle with Stefanos Tsitsipas to advance in Paris.

Photo Source: GEtty

After France’s Ugo Humbert squandered three match points in the second set tiebreaker against Stefanos Tsitsipas, it looked like he was on his way out of the Paris Masters. Running on fumes, in his second three-set battle in 24 hours, he squandered a break lead in the decider and headed to a tiebreak displaying the body language of a player running on fumes.

Tennis Express

And yet, somehow, he found a way to take down Tsitsipas and earn the biggest hard court victory of his career, 7-6(4), 6-7(6), 7-6(3) on Wednesday night in Bercy.

Physically, I'm dead,” he told reporters after the victory. “No energy. But I'm super happy, super proud of myself. I was mentally very strong to win this match against Tsitsipas, one of the best players in the world. Yeah, I don't know what happened, but I'm super, super happy.”

The victory was impressive on many levels for the 34rd-ranked Frenchman. First, it was a display of his easy power and all around game that combines big strikes off of both wings with a wicked can opener lefty serve and delicate touch around the net. Second, it showed the type of poise and resilience that Humbert possesses.

Wednesday night’s three hour and 17-minute contest was the type of knock-down, drag-out affair that would have been easy to give up on. A day after battling past Casper Ruud in a third-set breaker for his maiden win in Paris, the 22-year-old could have easily thrown in the towel and chalked up the loss to fatigue.

But he soldiered on against Tsitsipas, one of the world’s best, to get the hard-earned victory.

Even Tsitsipas liked what he saw.

“He was controlling his forehand really well during that match,” Tsitsipas said. “As you saw, did some amazing passing shots on the first game of the third set, which came unexpected. He was just creating a lot of opportunities from his forehand side and doing a lot of damage from there. His serve was very consistent, I would say. And despite having opportunities where he would serve second serves, I could come in, be more aggressive, it didn't seem as easy as I had it planned in my head.”

While he didn’t blame the loss on his fitness, Tsitsipas said he too was struggling physically on Wednesday. The Greek told reporters that the leg injury he suffered at Roland-Garros during his semi-final with Novak Djokovic came back to haunt him a bit in Paris this evening.

“During the second set my Roland Garros injury came back, and it wasn't as bad as at the French Open, but it kind of had me on the edge of things, and I wasn't sure if that's good for me to be out there,” he said. “But that's not an excuse, for sure. I still fought and gave my best out there, despite this thing that I had on court.”

Tsitsipas was down 6-3 in the second set tiebreaker but won the final five points of the set to prolong the match. He seemed like the better player in the third set, and certainly was the fresher one.

But in the end it was Humbert, the Antwerp champion and two-time ATP titlist in 2020, who stretched his winning streak to seven victories, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that he is a player on the rise and headed for much bigger things.


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