UPSET! Ugo Humbert Knocks Out 3rd Seed Alexander Zverev at ATP Halle 2021

Published 06/17/2021, 11:53 AM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 11, 2021 Germany’s Alexander Zverev during his semi final match against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


With Rafael Nadal’s decision to skip Wimbledon and Roger Federer struggling to find top form on grass, young players will have loads of opportunities to make their mark at SW19 this year. One of the few next-gen players that can go deep in Wimbledon is Alexander Zverev.

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Zverev, who had an incredible clay-court season is yet to reach the quarter-finals of Wimbledon. His best result was reaching the fourth round in 2017. The German is currently playing a home tournament in Halle and faced Ugo Humbert in the second round.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021, Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his fourth-round match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Coming to Humbert, the Frenchman had a below-part clay court run, but he is a proven talent on hard-courts. Even on grass, Humbert reached the quarter-finals at Stuttgart Open last week, where he was defeated by Felix Auger-Aliassime.

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Both Zverev and Humbert faced each other for the first time on the ATP tour. Let’s see how the match progressed.

A tightly contested first two sets leveled the match between Alexander Zverev and Humbert

Right from the first set, each player depended on their service games to steer through the match. While Zverev is a known heavy server, Humbert used lefty serve to his advantage and took the first set to a tie-breaker.

There were few rallies between the two as the match progressed in a typical grass-court fashion. Humbert’s huge forehand created enough trouble for the German as he couldn’t attack the Frenchman’s backhand.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 6, 2021, Germany’s Alexander Zverev in action during his fourth round match against Japan’s Kei Nishikori REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Even though it was a perfect first set from the two players, Ugo Humbert attacked the German on important points to seal the set, 7-6(4).

Coming to the second set, it was Zverev’s turn to return the favor as he began to serve to his expectations without any double-faults. A poor service game from the Frenchman gave an opportunity for Zverev to break the serve.

That one break was enough for the world number six to clinch the second set, 6-3.

Humbert became too good for Zverev in the final set

As the match went for a deciding third set, it was the German who had a vulnerable service game right at the start. With the way Humbert was winning points, it became impossible for Zverev to even have a look at a breakpoint on the Frenchman’s serve.

It was a clean-kill by Humbert as he used the right combinations of serve and volley at times to surprise Zverev. He even utilized his drop shots to good effect by the end of the third set.

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Whenever Zverev approached the net, Humbert’s forehand or backhand passing winners were too good for the German. Serving for the match at 5-3 in the third, the Frenchman left no stone unturned as he went on to beat Alexander Zverev in three sets 7-6(4),3-6,6-3.

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Even though the match went for three sets, it appeared to be a comprehensive win for the Frenchman. Throughout the match, Ugo Humbert hit 40 winners and 16 unforced errors compared to Zverev’s 38 winner and 10 errors. It was a match played on close margins as the Frenchman did just enough to come out on top in the end.

Ugo Humbert will now face Sebastian Korda in the quarter-finals of the ATP Halle Open.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

376 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Having developed an interest in creating content, he mixed his passion for writing with his love for tennis for 2 years at SportsKeeda before joining the tennis team at EssentiallySports.

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