After two convincing victories which marked a new stage of his return, the Andrey Rublev step was a little too high for Ugo Humbert in Indian Wells. The Frenchman, author of a good start where he took a break ahead, then lost the rhythm against the Russian (7-5, 6-3) who remained on a final in Dubai. The 7th in the world will face the pesky Cameron Norrie, who won in 2020 during a contested edition under Covid, in the round of 16.
Humbert nevertheless managed to worry his opponent, if we are to believe the huge cry uttered by the Russian when he broke in the first act when he was down 4-2. The protege of Jérémy Chardy held on the following games, before experiencing a fatal absence: “I had a page for 20 minutes where I completely lost track. I was 5-5, 40-0 on my serve and then I found myself trailing 7-5, 2-0, ball 3-0. Nothing was happening anymore. I mentally tried to get back to it but it wasn’t the same. »
“I am washed out. Yesterday (Saturday) I was only able to do 20 minutes of training and I stopped three times because I hurt all over”
Increasingly imprecise and with a first ball at half mast (only 44% ped, ” Not possible “ against a player of this caliber), he was never able to worry his rival again, who himself was making fewer and fewer mistakes and was going to conclude quietly at the end of a second set disputed in his hand.
” Disappointed “ of this slump, Humbert was happy with his tournament. “There are a lot of positive things, Jim (Chardy, his trainer) is super happy. I’m on the right track, I took points »he said, happy to have investigated a Challenger final in Pau and those two wins in Indian Wells. The sequence cost him physically, especially since he was coming back a big tear in the thigh in Bearn. He went from a final of almost 4 hours indoors, to the Californian desert with a jet lag to take. Entering the competition on Wednesday morning, he did not have time to breathe.
” I’m exhausted. I was not even trained when I arrived in Pau. I was washed out and there I am playing under anti-inflammatories. Yesterday (SATURDAY), I was only able to do 20 minutes of training and I stopped three times because I hurt all over. » He will therefore not go to Phoenix, where several French people have gone to compete in the Challenger. After a few days of rest, it will be training and Miami where he hopes to get into the table. Two packages would open the doors wide for him.