Player Features

Not just a player & girlfriend, Andrianjafitrimo coaches boyfriend Humbert to Marseille title

WTA player helped Humbert win his fifth tour-level title earlier this month in Marseille
February 20, 2024
Ugo Humbert and Tessah Andrianjafitrimo celebrate winning the title in Marseille.
Ugo Humbert and Tessah Andrianjafitrimo celebrate winning the title in Marseille. By Sam Jacot

Watch out Jeremy Chardy, Tessah Andrianjafitrimo is about!

The 25-year-old Frenchwoman Tessah competes on the WTA Tour. She has reached a career-high No. 139 in the WTA Rankings and won six ITF singles titles. She is also Ugo Humbert's girlfriend, and has been travelling on the ATP Tour with the World No. 18 during the start of the season while she continues to recover from injury.

With Humbert's full-time coach Chardy unable to attend as his charge prepared for the Open 13 Provence in Marseille earlier this month, Tessah swapped the court for the stands. She doubled up as her boyfriend’s coach in southern France, where the Frenchman went on to win the title by defeating Grigor Dimitrov in the final.

“She's a player and she's injured now. But Jeremy was not in Marseille, so I said to her, ‘OK, this week you are my coach’,” Humbert told, cracking a smile. “She gave me a lot of confidence because when I arrived, I was not really confident after a bad week of practice. But during the matches, she was so focused on what I had to do. She's so positive on the court and I felt she made me really relaxed.”

The Official App Of Tennis | Download ATP WTA Live App

Tessah has competed in the main draw at Roland Garros three times, whille she reached her career-high No. 139 in 2022. However, she has been sidelined by injury since the end of last season and is expected to return to fitness in March.

So how did the 25-year-old find the switch from playing to coaching?

"It was tough,” Tessah said. “It was different for sure. It was really different from playing because you are on the other side of the court and you have to stay really focused and really calm. I know how it is when you are on the court and looking at your coach and you just want to see how calm he is. I was really stressed and tight in my mind but I could not show him, so I had to stay really calm, even if I was tight.

“It took me so much energy to stay calm. And when you are on the court and stressed you can move and hit harder and use energy, but when you are coaching, you just sit on the court and watch. You can't move or say anything, so it was really stressful and hard. But I loved it. Of course, I loved it because we won but also because you can see the game differently. You can feel the energy much better and how the opponent feels and how your player feels. For me as a player it was really good.”

It is not the first time Humbert has tasted success with Tessah in his corner. In 2020, the lefty won an ATP Challenger Tour title with his girlfriend in tow. Humbert was thankful for the support and guidance he received from the Frenchwoman and is pleased to have extended their strong record together.

“I won my first Challenger with her in 2020 and after that, we broke up,” Humbert said. “Now we are back together and I wanted to win a title, so I said to her, ‘OK, come back with me’ and it worked!

“It's easy because she knows how to be during the match and before the match. She knows my routines since last year and we did it together and she understands it all completely, so it was easy. It was perfect.”

Having not been able to play recently, Tessah enjoyed the competitive buzz she gained from the coaching experience, adding: “I had so much fun before the matches. To get the player more focused, more strong and ready to go to fight. The mindset. I loved it. I love it when I play. I have not played for three months. I love the competition, so it was really, really good.”

Humbert’s triumph in Marseille was his fifth tour-level trophy. The 25-year-old played a near-perfect week at the indoor-hard event, dropping just one set. However, his preparations for the tournament were far from perfect.

“It is funny because the week before I went to London with my coach Jeremy, I did the worst training week in the past year," Humbert said. "Mentally I was super negative. Bad mindset during the practice because I think I was a little bit tired emotionally, because last year, at the end of the season it was not easy. I had played a lot of matches and I had only one week of rest, so after the Australian Open, I was completely dead.

“I did a really, really bad practice week but after that, I won the tournament. I tried to say to myself, ‘OK, it's like this, you have to accept you aren’t at the best’ and day by day, it was a little bit better and better. In the first match against [Hugo] Gaston, it was really, really hard. I was a break down in the third set at 1-3 and I won 6-3. Mentally after I was super strong and the level was so good. I was really, really proud. Winning in France is special because you have the crowd with you. It was emotional.”

With his victory, Humbert improved his standout record in tour-level finals to 5-0, having also triumphed in Metz at the end of last season. He is just the eighth player in the Open Era to win his first five tour-level finals.

“I always play my best level in the finals,” Humbert said. “I don't know why. When I played in the two first finals on the ATP Challenger Tour, I lost both. And after that, I told myself, ‘OK, in finals you don’t have to play your best, you just have to win it. There is no other option, you have to win the match’. I'm more and more focused on what I have to do, I am really in the present. On all five finals, I played a really good level.”

Humbert has now captured three of his five crowns indoors, having won eight of his past nine matches indoors. But why is the Frenchman so effective in those conditions? He thanks the Metz weather.

“I'm good indoors because I am from Metz and it's always raining there! It meant I started playing tennis on the indoor court, on the carpet, when young, so that's why I think I play well on the indoor courts,” Humbert said. “I love it because I have an aggressive game. A lefty serve, so it's not easy for the opponent. It works well.”

You May Also Like: Superb Humbert downs Dimitrov to clinch Marseille crown

Humbert’s title in Marseille also lifted him back into the Top 20 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings and to a career-high No. 18. He is once again the French No. 1, ahead of World No. 20 Adrian Mannarino.

Humbert is one of nine Frenchmen inside the Top 100, with #NextGenATP stars Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche exciting prospects. The 21-year-old Arthur Cazaux is No. 83 and performed impressively at the Australian Open, beating Top 10 star Holger Rune en route to the fourth round.

Humbert enjoys his rivalry with Mannarino and is excited by the younger generation emerging.

“I like to have this goal to be No. 1 in France," Humbert said. "It's good because it's nice to have competition between the players. Adrian and I are pushing each other. It is like a race.

“When I was young, I was the only one in the new generation in France and I felt like we were missing some players to push me. So now it's really good to have Arthur [Fils], [Arthur [Cazaux] and Luca [Van Assche]. I was a little bit alone. I will see if I can be Top 10 soon, but it's really exciting because now I'm at my best ranking of 18. Only eight spots from the Top 10, so it's really exciting.”

Humbert will aim to continue his charge towards the Top 10 this week at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, where he is the third seed. The 25-year-old will begin against Pavel Kotov.

Will Tessah be back in the coaching seat again in Doha after Marseille’s success?

“She's in Doha but as my girlfriend,” Humbert said “She will start to play again in March. Jeremy was my coach again in Rotterdam, so she was just my girlfriend during Rotterdam and here in Doha as well.”

Read More News View All News

View Related Videos View All Videos


Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store

Premier Partner

Platinum Partners

Gold Partners

Official Ball, Racquet and Tennis Accessory

Official Partners & Suppliers