Auckland | Humbert upsets compatriot Paire for title
Ugo Humbert claimed his first title on the ATP Tour when he outlasted his fellow Frenchman 7-6(2) 3-6 7-6(5) in Auckland’s ASB Classic final.
I don't know if I've realised what I did today, but I'm extremely happy about my first ATP title Ugo Humbert
The 21-year old was delighted at his success in what has been a ‘tournament of revenge’ as far as he was concerned as he beat several players who had got the better of him in the past.
In what is no doubt a milestone for the young player who has now shown he can be more consistent over a week than he has previously, despite recording some good results.
“I’m really proud because it was a tournament of revenge,” Humbert said.
“I’ve lost against four of the five players I’ve played this week like [Casper] Ruud, [John] Isner, [Denis] Shapovalov and Benoit, so it’s meant a lot to me.
“I don’t know if I’ve realised what I did today,” he added. “But I’m extremely happy about my first ATP title.”
Humbert had a 3-0 lead in the first set and was up 4-1 in the third, but each time Paire fought back, including saving a championship point in the third set.
“It wasn’t easy in my head,” Humbert said. “I had a match point on his serve. I know I can do it better on the passing shot, but I was calm after this point. I just wanted to play each point one by one and I did a great tiebreak in the third set.
“But to be honest, it was a good week and I enjoyed it a lot.
“This tournament is one of the best of the year, it’s full for the whole week and that’s nice.
“I really enjoyed playing here. Last year it wasn’t easy coming from Pune to play here and the tournament director put me to play on Monday at 12pm!” He said laughing and looking at Karl Budge, who smiled back.
Paire was disappointed at losing, but said: “It’s good for him. It’s the first time in a final and he’s won a title. He’s a good friend, honestly he’s playing very well since the beginning of the week and he deserves this title.
“I tried everything, I tried to fight, to come back and I did it well, so that’s why I’m happy, because I enjoyed it with the people.
“I enjoyed seeing the people in the crowd drinking beer, drinking wine, Champagne.
“Honestly, it’s good to see that because at tournaments it’s not like this every time.”
Paire showed this week that he has the potential to be a top 10 player, if he sets his mind to it.
“I know him,” Paire added, “He’s young, he’s good, he’s going to win some titles. He played very good tennis and I’m very happy for him.
“Honestly, for sure I’m sad to lose this match, but when you fight and do everything you can, even when you lose, that’s the most important thing, to fight.”
Meanwhile South Africa’s Lloyd Harris’ excellent run at the Adelaide International ended in defeat at the hands of Russia’s Andrey Rublev who collected the title after just 57-minutes, 6-3 6-0.