Humbert beats Rublev in straight sets to win Halle Open final

Ugo Humbert, of France, prepares to hit a return to countryman Benoit Paire during the Winston-Salem Open tennis tournament Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, in Winston-Salem, N.C. (Walt Unks/The Winston-Salem Journal via AP)

HALLE, Germany -- Ugo Humbert defeated Andrey Rublev 6-3, 7-6 (4) in the Halle Open final for the biggest title win of his career on Sunday.

The French player, who won ATP 250 events in Antwerp and Auckland last year, hit nine aces and saved both break points he faced to beat the fourth-seeded Rublev in 1 hour, 24 minutes for his first ATP 500 title.

"It is incredible. It is the best victory of my career," Humbert said. "I am very proud because it wasn't easy. I was a little bit tired, but I tried to stay focused on each point, and did what I could, so it is very nice."

Humbert made the breakthrough in the eighth game of the opening set, where he fended off the two break points to close it out. He then held his nerve in the tie-break.

"I tried to stay aggressive and take the ball early because in the baseline rallies it was tough, because Andrey was hitting the ball very hard. Physically, it was tough, and I tried to take my chances when I could, and I won," Humbert said.

Rublev was playing in his first grass-court final and his third final of the year. He won in Rotterdam in March and lost the Monte Carlo Masters to Stefanos Tsitsipas a month later.

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