Humbert misses Paul in second round at Cincinnati

Humbert misses Paul in second round at Cincinnati

Ugo Humbert and Tommy Paul had only faced each other once, in Challenger, in 2018 in Champaign. And the American, then 215th in the world, offered himself (6-4, 4-6, 6-2) the Frenchman, then 98th at the ATP. Wednesday in the second round of the Masters 1000, Paul, favorite (13th in the world and semi-finalist in Toronto) dominated (6-1, 7-6 (4)) Humbert (33rd) less tightly. The protege of Brad Stine will try to afford world number 1 Carlos Alcaraz once again, a week after beating him in Toronto.

For Humbert, the meeting had started very badly, with a double fault. It was the red thread of the first set. The ex-25th in the world offered his face-off to his opponent on three double faults. And the round was a nightmare for him: three breaks conceded, only 12 points scored in the set. Paul did not have much to do: he varied a lot against Lorrain, who quickly made a mistake and was passed each time when he was at the net.

Humbert has a solid chance of being the top seed at the US Open

Humbert considerably raised his level of play in the second set. He got a break point from his second game back (erased by Paul). The American was much less precise, committing several gross errors, and left openings to the 33rd in the world, finally returned to his meeting. Humbert, by cracking Paul in the exchange, had even made the break to serve to return to a set everywhere. But he was scuttled with several missed backhands, which allowed Paul to hang the decisive game. And to win it easily after Humbert offered him three forehands in particular. For the French, the addition was salty: 39 unforced errors, for only 13 winning shots.

Despite this defeat, Humbert retains a solid chance of being one of the top seeds at the US Open (August 28 – September 10): he is virtual 31st in the world.


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