05:41 PM GMT February 22, 2019
Five days on from winning his fourth ATP Challenger Tour title, and with family members watching in the Marseille stands, #NextGenATP Ugo Humbert is through to his first ATP Tour semi-final.
The French wild card lost only three first-service points to overcome German qualifier Matthias Bachinger 6-3, 6-3 in 80 minutes on Wednesday at the Open 13 Provence.
“The match went very well,” said 20-year-old Humbert. “I prepared well and watched some videos. I'm very happy with my level. I didn't let him play and was aggressive. I watched him against [Fernando] Verdasco yesterday. I served well, [although] I haven't checked the percentage yet. My family is here as well, I don't see them very often, so I'm very happy that they can be here with me.”
Looking ahead to his clash against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin, Humbert said, “I warmed up with him this morning. I was surprised, he has quite a special backhand. I will have to prepare well and move well.”
Last week, Humbert beat Steve Darcis in the Challenger Cherbourg - La Manche final, then travelled to Marseille to knock out former champion Ernests Gulbis and second seed Borna Coric.
Earlier in the day, Kukushkin swept past Andrey Rublev of Russia 6-4, 6-1 in 65 minutes, winning six straight games from 6-5 in the first set to 5-0 in the second set. Kukushkin is through to his first ATP Tour semi-final since October 2018 at the Erste Bank Open 500 (l. to Nishikori). The World No. 50 also beat Rublev 7-6(4), 6-4 in the second round of the same Vienna tournament.
McLachlan/Middelkoop Reach Doubles Final
Third seeds Ben McLachlan and Matwe Middelkoop advanced to their first ATP Tour team final by defeating Austrian’s Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Oswald 3-6, 7-5, 10-7 in 77 minutes. They await the winners of Frenchmen Jeremy Chardy and Fabrice Martin, and Sander Arends and Tristan-Samuel Weissborn.