© Peter Staples/ATP Tour

Mikael Ymer gets off to a good start in Milan with a four-set win against Ugo Humbert.

Ymer Maintains Top Form In Milan

Swede overcomes second-set hiccup against French lefty

Mikael Ymer continued his indoor success this season at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan, scoring a 4-3(2), 1-4, 4-2, 4-1 victory over Frenchman Ugo Humbert on Tuesday in Group B.

“It was a lot of fun,” Ymer said. “I saw how big the arena is and was a little bit nervous before going out there, but I felt good from the start. I managed to stay in the rallies and get the early break, so there were a lot of positive things.”

The 21-year-old Swede has excelled on the ATP Challenger Tour with four titles this season, but earned his two biggest Challenger crowns at back-to-back indoor events in Orleans and Mouillleron le Captif. Ymer arrived in Milan at No. 74 in the ATP Rankings, just one spot away his career-high standing that he reached last month.

Read More: Ymer: 'I'm Not Only Playing For Me'

Ymer quickly adapted to the unique scoring format of this event and raced to a 3-0 lead after 13 minutes. After overcooking several forehands, Humbert dialed down his aggression and played himself into the baseline rallies, going on his own three-game run to force a tie-break. But the Swede raised his level further in the tie-break, earning a mini-break in the first point with a big forehand and dominating the exchanges to grab the early lead.

Humbert received medical treatment on his back after the opening set. He then utilised the in-match coaching option during the first changeover of the second set, eager to change the direction of the match. The strategy his coach provided worked perfectly as Humbert began to move forward to disrupt Ymer’s rhythm. He earned a break at 2-1 and fired an ace in the next game to level the match.

Both players traded straightforward service holds for much of the third set. But it was the Frenchman who blinked first at 2-3, hitting a double fault and a pair of unforced errors to swing the pendulum in Ymer’s favour. The Swede ran with the momentum, creating another three-game run before eventually wrapping up the win in one hour and 42 minutes.

Tuesday’s schedule concludes with second-seeded American Frances Tiafoe taking on Italian Jannik Sinner in Group B.

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