Humbert Upsets Rublev With Late Charge In Beijing

  • Posted: Sep 30, 2023

Humbert Upsets Rublev With Late Charge In Beijing

Frenchman defeats fifth seed, meets Medvedev next

Ugo Humbert earned his first Top 10 win in more than a year with a dramatic victory against Andrey Rublev on Saturday night in Beijing. In the second round of the China Open, the Frenchman pulled out a 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3) victory against the fifth seed, improving his career record to 8-8 against Top 10 opponents.

In an eventful match that saw 10 breaks of serve evenly split, Humbert denied Rublev’s attempt to serve out a win at 5-3 in the final set and leaned on his rock-solid baseline game to close out the victory in a one-sided tie-break.

“I was really focussed from the beginning of the second set and the level was high,” Humbert said after two hours, 48 minutes on court. “It’s not easy against him because he plays very fast. I’m very proud that I did it.”

Humbert improved to 8-8 against the Top 10 and 1-3 this season, with his most recent such victory coming against Casper Ruud last year at Wimbledon. He will have a chance for another Top 10 win in the quarter-finals when he takes on World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev, against whom he holds a 2-0 Lexus ATP Head2Head edge.

The 25-year-old Humbert reached a career-high of World No. 25 in 2021, but was outside the Top 100 for much of the 2022 season and as recently as this January. His quarter-final run in Beijing has lifted him two places to No. 34 in the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings.

“I was outside the Top 100 last year. I feel I played very well the last few weeks in Davis Cup, here,” he assessed. “I’m very happy to win against [Rublev].”

Rublev was seeking his 10th quarter-final of the season. Despite the defeat, he remains comfortably inside the top eight places in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Turin. If Alexander Zverev wins the Beijing title, however, the Geman will replace Rublev in fifth place.

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