First-Time Winner Spotlight: Ugo Humbert

Frenchman lifts maiden tour-level trophy in Auckland
January 18, 2020
Ugo Humbert is the first player to capture a maiden ATP Tour title in 2020.
Hannah Peters/Getty Images
Ugo Humbert is the first player to capture a maiden ATP Tour title in 2020. By ATP Staff

One of Ugo Humbert’s goals for this year was to win an ATP Tour title. Two weeks into the season, he can cross that off his to-do list.

The 21-year-old lifted his maiden tour-level crown after winning an epic championship match against fellow Frenchman Benoit Paire at the ASB Classic in Auckland. His last three victories of the week came against seeded players he had 0-1 ATP Head2Head records against: Denis Shapovalov, John Isner and Paire. caught up with Humbert after the final to talk to the Frenchman about his breakthrough run.

What does winning your first ATP Tour title mean to you?
It means a lot for me to win my first ATP Tour title. It was really tough today, really emotional. I’m happy it all worked today.

Was there a point in the week where you felt like winning the title was within your grasp, or did this come as a surprise to you?
It’s not a surprise because I work hard for it every day and I really wanted it. I did five good matches here against really good players, so that was great.

Talk about your pre-season and some of the things you focussed on with your game.
I spent two weeks in the French mountains and did a lot of physical work. I tried to improve my foundation with my game.

How much confidence did you take from qualifying for the Next Gen ATP Finals last year and winning a match in Milan?
Big confidence. It was a goal for me to be in Milan last year. The year before, I missed it by only one spot. I played against Frances Tiafoe, Mikael Ymer and Jannik Sinner. It was a great experience to play against them.

The videos of you playing the piano have gotten a lot of attention. How often do you play piano when you’re at home and do you ever try to practice when you’re on the road?
It’s not easy on the Tour. It depends if the hotel has a piano. But when I’m home, I try to improve and learn some new songs.

How will you celebrate your win here in Auckland?
We are going to the harbour tonight and will have a good dinner.

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