This is called a victory to the mind. Manhandled by Daniel Evans, Ugo Humbert drew on the depths of his resources to reverse a meeting that seemed lost by dominating the Briton in three sets and more than three hours of play: 4-6, 7-6, 6-4. After eliminating Coppejan, Carreno Busta and Harris, the 22-year-old Frenchman offered himself in pain the chance to win a second title in 2020 after that of Auckland. This Sunday he will meet the winner of the semi-final between Australian Alex de Minaur and Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.
However, Daniel Evans took his young opponent by the throat from the outset, conceding only a small break point during the entire first set. Solid, the 35th player in the world played his tennis perfectly, striving, and succeeding, to push Humbert to the fault to seize a first round while controlling: 6-4.
Four match points saved
But the young Frenchman has already proven that he knows how to play in the reaction. Frustrated by his failed first set by having his serve stolen twice, Ugo Humbert managed to break free in the second set. Much sharper, the 38th player in the world quickly led 3-0 by relying on powerful first balls (3 aces) and being much more aggressive on his returns. But the experience of Daniel Evans, who saw others at 30, allowed him not to scatter to push his younger brother to the tie-break.
Completely cornered, Ugo Humbert has several times been on the verge of breaking up. But, after saving the trifle of four match points, he managed to snatch a third set to hope to continue his way on flamingo ground (4-6, 7-6).
Feeling the tide, the winner of the last Auckland tournament continued his work of undermining, managing to break Daniel Evans to afford the right to serve for the match. A formality after coming back from hell (4-6, 7-6, 6-4) to afford the right to dream of a second title that would confirm his arrival in the big leagues. But, at 22, Ugo Humbert will have to prove it against Alex De Minaur or Grigor Dimitrov on Sunday. It’s up to him to continue writing his story.