Six months after falling in three sets to John Isner in the semi-finals at Newport, Ugo Humbert defeated the American 7-6(5), 6-4 to advance to his maiden ATP Tour championship match at the ASB Classic on Friday.
The Frenchman, who won each of his 38 first-serve points throughout the 81-minute encounter, did not face a break point en route to victory against the two-time champion. Humbert is through to his first ATP Tour final on his fourth attempt, following semi-final losses in Marseille, Newport and Antwerp last year.
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”I am really happy about this win,” said Humbert. “It was a great match. I returned very well and I played good [on the] key points. I am really, really happy to reach my first final.”
The World No. 57 has defeated two of the Top 4 seeds in Auckland to reach the final. After wins over in-form Norwegian Casper Ruud and Marco Cecchinato, Humbert also beat second seed Denis Shapovalov in the quarter-finals.
Humbert will face countryman Benoit Paire or sixth seed Hubert Hurkacz for the title. Hurkacz defeated Paire in his only previous meeting against the Frenchman to capture his maiden ATP Tour crown at last year’s Winston-Salem Open.