Challenger de Pau: Luca Van Assche overthrows Ugo Humbert in the final

Challenger de Pau: Luca Van Assche overthrows Ugo Humbert in the final

At the end of an extended Franco-French final, the longest in the history of the ATP Challengers tournaments, Luca Van Assche saved two match points, in the final tie-break, before winning against Ugo Humbert, at the Terega Open Pau Pyrénées (7-6 (5), 4-6, 7-6 (6) in 3h56).

This is the most beautiful professional trophy won by the winner of Roland-Garros juniors 2021 since Pau belongs to the Challenger ATP 125 category (the number of points that the winner wins) and he had so far won only one title. in “D2”, Maia’s Challenger ATP 80.

From the first set, the very intense dimension of this final appeared clearly since no player managed to take the opposing service, the exchanges lasted very long and Van Assche took almost an hour and a half to fire. in the lead, 7 points to 5 in the deciding game.

In the second, Van Assche managed to maintain his level until 3-2 and 40A on the opposing serve. But Humbert did not loosen his grip, using his long-line backhand a lot to hurt. This is how he got the first break of the match, after more than two hours, at 3-3.

Once two break points were discarded in the next game, the eldest (24 years old, 89th ATP) was no longer really worried until he found himself at 6-7, 6-4, 3-0 double break. Given the superior experience of the former 25th in the world and the physical weariness that was showing in Van Assche, the cause seemed heard.

Led 3-0, double break, in the last leg

But Van Assche definitely has a lot of resources. Quick faller the day before Arthur Rinderknech (6-1, 6-3), he had every intention of paying for a second member of the French Davis Cup team in 24 hours. He immediately resumed his two late serves, missed a 5-3 ball, then he saw Humbert hit him with an ace on his first match point, at 5-4.

In the decisive tie-break, it was the Messin, amazing in the service in the last straight line (17 aces in total), who in turn obtained two match points, 6 points to 4, but he committed two unforced errors. Two points later, exhausted and happy, on a last error in length from Humbert, Van Assche could raise his arms.

The huge 3:56 fight broke the previous record for the longest Challenger final, co-held, by 25 minutes, with 3:31 by the Winnetka tournament in 2015 (Indian Somdev Devvarman beat American Daniel Nguyen 7-5, 4-6, 7-6) and by that of Montevideo, last year (the Argentinian Genaro Olivieri won against his compatriot Tomas Etcheverry 6-7, 7-6, 6-3).

This title allows Luca Van Assche to make a jump of 40 places in the standings, where he will appear on Monday in 109th position, with a point ahead of 110th, Arthur Son, his classmate. At the start of the season, teenagers are giving French men’s tennis some pretty color.

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