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Ugo Humbert outlasts Daniil Medvedev at ATP Cup for biggest win of career
The 23-year-old French lefty has now won six of his last eight matches against Top 10 players.
Published Jan 02, 2022
World No. 35 Ugo Humbert stunned No. 2-ranked Daniil Medvedev at the ATP Cup on Sunday, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (2), to not only level the Russia-France group tie at the team event, 1-1, but to record the biggest win of his young career.
It was the 23-year-old Frenchman’s first career win over a Top 3 player.
“I really love to play in Australia,” he said. “It was a great atmosphere on the court. It was very tough today—I’m not feeling very good now, but I’m very happy.”
Medvedev, who led the tour in 2021 with 63 match wins, had several opportunities to get his 2022 season off to a winning start too—after battling back from 4-1 down in the first set tie-break to sneak out the 49-minute opening set, he not only led 3-0 in the second set, but he also built a 3-1 lead in the decider.
But an extra-aggressive Humbert clawed back both times, saving his best tennis for last—the French lefty stormed out to a 6-1 lead in the third set tie-break, eventually closing the match out with a sensational backhand return winner down the line.
On the stats sheet, there was very little between the two. Medvedev had a winners-to-unforced errors differential of -16 (28 to 44), while Humbert was -17 (44 to 61). Humbert came into the net 32 times in the match—four times as much as Medvedev—and the Frenchman won 23 of those points, or 72 percent.
The biggest difference may have come on break points, where Humbert converted 4 of 14, while Medvedev converted 3 of 9.
At the end of the day, the two left it all out there for two hours and 55 minutes.
“I had some opportunities in the first set, but I think I tried to stay relaxed and focused on what I had to do, and it was a great match,” Humbert said.
Humbert is now 2-0 lifetime against Medvedev, also beating the Russian at the clay-court event in Hamburg in 2020, that time in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.
This was also his first win over a Top 3 player. Before this, his biggest win by ranking came against a No. 4-ranked Stefanos Tsitsipas at the Tokyo Olympics last summer.
Humbert has now won six of his last eight matches against Top 10 players:
HUMBERT VS TOP 10 PLAYERS SINCE MID-SEPTEMBER 2020:
d. No. 5 Medvedev in 2020 Hamburg 1st Rd, 6-4, 6-3
l. to No. 10 Rublev in 2020 St. Petersburg 2nd Rd, 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
d. No. 6 Tsitsipas in 2020 Paris 2nd Rd, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3)
d. No. 6 Zverev in 2021 Halle 2nd Rd, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3
d. No. 7 Rublev in 2021 Halle F, 6-3, 7-6 (4)
d. No. 4 Tsitsipas in 2021 Olympics 3rd Rd, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2
l. to No. 3 Tsitsipas in 2021 Toronto 2nd Rd, 6-3, 6-7 (13), 6-1
d. No. 2 Medvedev in 2022 ATP Cup RR, 6-7 (5), 7-5, 7-6 (2)
Earlier in the day, No. 167-ranked Roman Safiullin had given Russia a 1-0 lead in the tie with a 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 victory over No. 58-ranked Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech.
After Humbert's win over Medvedev, Medvedev and Safiullin came back on court and clinched the tie, 2-1, with a 6-4, 6-4 doubles victory over France's Fabrice Martin and Edouard Roger-Vasselin.