Humbert, Etcheverry Cruise To Bordeaux Challenger Final

  • Posted: May 19, 2023

Humbert, Etcheverry Cruise To Bordeaux Challenger Final

Argentine Etcheverry ousts top seed Struff

Ugo Humbert and Tomas Martin Etcheverry will contest for the ATP Challenger Tour 175 crown in Bordeaux, France after they each advanced in straight sets Friday.

The 24-year-old Humbert continued his form by winning an all-French semi-final against Richard Gasquet 6-0, 6-2 at the BNP Paribas Primrose. Humbert hammered any ball that his countryman left in the middle of the court, while also showing deft feel on numerous drop shots.

Despite getting broken in the opening game of the second set, the World No. 50 Humbert quickly regrouped to oust Gasquet in one hour, 16 minutes. Humbert, who beat another tour veteran, Stan Wawrinka, in the quarter-finals, delivered a strong-serving performance Friday, winning 75 per cent of first-serve points, compared to Gasquet’s 40 per cent.

When Humbert has competed at Challenger Tour events this year, he’s been a dominant force, tallying a 13-2 Challenger-match record. Earlier this month, the Metz native triumphed at the Cagliari Challenger, where he fended off two match points in his quarter-final against Taro Daniel to stay alive.

Humbert reached a career-high No. 25 in 2021 and will next aim for a second consecutive Challenger 175 crown Saturday, when he clashes against Etcheverry.

Should the Frenchman win a ninth Challenger title, he would return to the Top 40 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings for the first time since 31 January, 2022.

The heavy-hitting Etcheverry earned the highest-ranked win of his career by upsetting top seed and World No. 28 Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-2 in the semi-finals.

The 23-year-old Etcheverry took a deep return stance that Struff often countered with a serve-and-volley. But the Argentine stayed steady from the baseline, displaying lethal inside-out forehands en route to a one-hour, 14-minute victory. Etcheverry dropped just one point on serve in the opening set and didn’t face a break point all match.

Seeded seventh, Etcheverry has played his best tennis this season. He was a finalist at the ATP 250 events in Santiago and Houston and last month reached a career-high No. 59, which he is guaranteed to surpass this upcoming Monday. A three-time Challenger champion, the La Plata native will next attempt for his biggest career title against Humbert, who defeated him in five sets at Wimbledon last year.

In Bordeaux doubles action, top seeds Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara will contest third seeds Sadio Doumbia and Fabien Reboul in Saturday’s championship match.

Watch Bordeaux Challenger Final: Ugo Humbert vs Tomas Martin Etcheverry (N.B. 3:15 p.m. local time)

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