On the ATP Tour play is on hard-or clay courts most of the time. The grass season on the other hand, is quite short. It is all the more noteworthy that Felix Auger-Aliassime and Ugo Humbert have met three times already in their young careers – and those three times on a grass court. The balance sheet was quite even before the semi final in Halle – the Frenchman won in Wimbledon, the Canadian won in Stuttgart this year – now, Ugo Humbert is in the lead. And not only that: The 22-year-old has got to the final by his 6:4, 3:6, 7:6(5)-victory at the NOVENTI OPEN.
Felix Auger-Aliassime started strongly, served three Aces in his first service and got his first break straight after. Ugo Humbert wasn’t bothered by this. The rebreak followed at once and from then on the Frenchman dictated the action on the Centre Court. His serves were precise and he put more and more pressure on the Canadian with his forehand. And Ugo Humbert was able to use his chances - first at 4:3 with a further break and then, shortly afterwards with his first set point to make it 6:4.
Seemingly without bother the 22-year-old from France went on his way, while Felix Auger-Aliassime didn’t seem to cope with losing the set. The Canadian had to put up with a further break. Acurate serves, powerful baseline shots, stops - Ugo Humbert called up his entire repertoire and showed all of his class. Felix Auger-Aliassime didn’t live up to the expectations. The Federer-defeater didn’t play constantly enough, produced too many a fault. But when all had thought of a quick end to the match, the game turned around. Ugo Humbert struggled a little and Felix Auger-Aliassime took total advantage of this phase of weakness. He won five games in a row and went into the lead again with 6:3 coming from behind 1:3.
That meant the Frenchman had to play three sets again. As in all three matches before – as known successfully. And this time, too, it was enough. Ugo Humbert , as Felix Auger-Aliassime, too, stayed fully focussed in the third set. Both fought for each and every point. High tension in the arena. Even though there were two or three break points in the duration of the set, both still brought their service through. As usual in this match, it went into the deciding tiebreak. The Frenchman stayed on top with 7:5 and cried out in triumph winning the match point.