“Even More Difficult…”: Ugo Humbert on Beating Rafael Nadal on Clay

Published 04/28/2021, 9:14 AM EDT
Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 25, 2021 Spain’s Rafael Nadal celebrates with the trophy after winning the Barcelona Open against Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas REUTERS/Albert Gea


Rising French tennis star Ugo Humbert has said that it’s hard to play piano but even harder to beat Rafael Nadal on clay. The current World No.31 will open his campaign at the ongoing claycourt event at Estoril, Portugal against Italian Marco Cecchinato later on Wednesday.

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Humbert also took copious lessons in music and is a skilled piano player. Speaking to a Portuguese publication, the young Frenchman said that he started learning piano at 5, the same age when he started playing tennis.

Ugo Humbert says beating Rafael Nadal on clay is even tougher than playing the piano

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To a question on whether playing the piano is relatively easier than beating the ‘King of Clay’ of his favorite surface, the 22-year-old said playing the musical instrument is hard but it is nothing compared to battling the Spaniard on soil.

Humbert said being a pianist is a lot tougher than playing tennis but when it comes to leveling with Nadal on dirt, nothing else compares.

“Playing the piano is more difficult than playing tennis! But it is even more difficult to beat Nadal on the ground!” Humbert said.

(Quotes have been translated via Google)

Though the Frenchman has yet to face the mighty Spaniard on any surface, he has seen enough of Nadal on clay to know how formidable he can be on red dirt.

Even when he is down or seemingly on the back foot on his preferred surface, the current World No.3 inevitably finds a way back into the contest.

Tennis – ATP 500 – Barcelona Open – Real Club de Tennis Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain – April 23, 2021, Spain’s Rafael Nadal in action during his quarter final match against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie REUTERS/Albert Gea

Rafael Nadal recovered from a mid-match slump against Stefanos Tsitsipas to clinch his 12th Barcelona title

In the latest illustration of his claycourt nuous, Nadal recovered from a mid-match slump against current World No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas to clinch an unprecedented 12th Barcelona title.

There were enough openings for the Greek star to seize hold of the match but the Spaniard brought his signature grit and spirit to the fore to work his way back into the contest and eventually lift the championship trophy.

Humbert gave a mighty scare to homeboy Nick Kyrgios at this year’s Australian Open, taking him to five sets and coming close to sealing an upset win.

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However, the Aussie scraped home 5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4.

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The Frenchman then followed up with a semifinal appearance in Marseille and a third-round exit at Miami in some notable performances on the Tour.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

825 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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