Rublev, Humbert Reach Halle Singles Final

Andrey Rublev (photo: Noventi Open/Halle, Mathias Schulz)

HALLE/STARNBERG, June 19, 2021

Andrey Rublev and Ugo Humbert will play the singles final of the NOVENTI OPEN in Halle, Westphalia, Germany. No. 4 seed Rublev battled past Georgian qualifier Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 on Saturday afternoon.

The World No. 7 from Russia capitalized on three of his eight break-point chances to prevail after one hour and 50 minutes.

“It’s my first final on grass and in Halle,” said Rublev. “I think I can play on every surface and I will try my best again tomorrow. I had good opportunities to break him in the second set, some quite easy forehands and I stressed a little showing my emotions. I then came back and stayed calm, until the last game. But I won.”

Rublev has a 29-2 match record at ATP 500 tournaments since the circuit resumed from the COVID-19 suspension in August 2020. The 23-year-old Moscow native has won his past four 500-level finals – three in 2020 at the Hamburg European Open, the St. Petersburg Open and the Erste Bank Open in Vienna, plus one in 2021 at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

Humbert defeats Auger-Aliassime

Later in the day, Humbert fought past Canadian young gun Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 3-6, 7-6(5). The 22-year-old Frenchman struck eight aces and won 76 per cent of his first-service points to seal victory in two hours and 33 minutes.

“It was an amazing match from both of us, but it was very tough physically and mentally,” Humbert said in an on-court interview. “I’m very proud to win this match, it was exceptional.

“It gives me a lot of confidence [winning matches like this], and when you win some matches 7-6 two times in the third set.”

Rublev won the only previous meeting with Humbert at the 2020 St. Petersburg Open in Russia.