18 Jan 2020

Humbert crowned 2020 ASB Classic champion

by Rhonda Karl
Humbert crowned 2020 ASB Classic champion

Next Gen sensation Ugo Humbert is the 2020 ASB Classic champion after clinching the title in an unforgettable all-French final.

Humbert made history by beating his compatriot Benoit Paire 7-6 (2) 3-6 7-6 (5) and becoming the first French champion in the tournament’s 64-year history.

The title is also the first in the 21-year old’s career after playing in his first ATP singles final this afternoon.

The rookie Humbert made the perfect start breaking Paire to take a 3-0 lead. However, four breaks in a row followed as Paire levelled the set.

The 30-year old Frenchman saved three set points at 6-5 but Humbert didn’t let that stop him from rolling through the tie-break and capturing the first set.

Humbert continued to pile the pressure on Paire in the second set forcing two break point chances at 1-1. But Paire survived the early challenge and rode the momentum to take the match into a deciding set.

Humber struck a beautiful cross-court backhand pass to seize the early break in the third set. He continued to take flight in the final set racing out to a 4-1 lead with a thumping forehand Paire couldn’t reach.

Paire wasn’t going down without a fight, he broke Umbert while serving for the match, saving a championship point at 5-4. The crowd was kept on the edge of their seats as the match went into a third-set tiebreak. Paire fought valiantly saving two more championship points, but Humbert was not to be denied collapsing to the court as a backhand from Paire sailed long.

Humbert says he is still coming to grips with his performance today.

“I don’t know if I realised what I did today but I’m extremely happy about my first ATP Title.

Paire says it’s tough to lose after staging a great fightback – but Humbert deserves his win.

“It’s good for him, first time in a final first time he won a title - he’s a good friend and honestly he’s playing very well since the beginning of the week.”

In the doubles final kiwi born Ben McLachlan of Japan and Great Britain’s Liam Bambridge were too strong for kiwi Marcus Daniel and Austrian Phillip Oswald in the final winning 7-6 (3) 6-3. The ASB Classic title is the Japanese-British duos first title together and is McLachlan’s second in a row at the ASB Classic.

“It means a lot to win this tournament again – like I said last year I grew up watching this tournament and I was a ball kid here.”

After thirteen days of world class tennis, record breaking crowds and a whole lot of drama it’s time to farewell the 2020 ASB Classic, see you next year!

Share