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French wildcard Gael Monfils loses out in three-set thriller against compatriot and No5 seed Ugo Humbert, who will now face Andy Murray in Round of 16

 

Arthur Cazaux, competing in his maiden ATP 500 event, secured his second top-30 win with another straight sets victory, this time against World No26 Lorenzo Musetti

 

Dubai, UAE – February 27, 2024:  Frenchman Ugo Humbert avenged the defeat compatriot Gael Monfils inflicted on him at the Qatar Open last week with a 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory against the veteran wildcard at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday afternoon.

 

In Doha, former World No6 Monfils breezed past Humbert in the quarterfinal last week on route to writing himself into the tournament's record books as the oldest finalist in its history at 37 years and five months. In Dubai though, Humbert ensured there would be no repeat.

 

Monfils had looked on course to continue his impress renaissance after a solid showing in the opening set, but a stomach complaint in the early stages of the second – which saw him ask the umpire to temporarily leave the court – played a significant part in his subsequent downfall. Recovering from the first set loss, Humbert battled back to set up an exciting Centre Court clash against three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray.

 

Two-time Grand Slam semifinalist Monfils was in clear discomfort on several occasions, but fought through the pain to put up a solid fight against strong opposition in the shape of World No18 Humbert. In truth, the latter only began to start playing his best tennis in the second set, where in the sixth game he was finally able to break Monfils' powerful serve and level the match.

 

An inspired Humbert carried on the momentum in the third and final set, breaking Monfils once more. And while the veteran had two chances to break the new French No1; he didn't take advantage of them with Humbert closing out the third set in similarly clinical fashion to the second.

 

On Court One another Frenchman was celebrating victory, as qualifier Arthur Cazaux marked his first appearance in the Main Draw of an ATP 500 tournament with an impressive straight sets victory over World No26 Lorenzo Musetti.

 

Cazaux, who did not drop a set in qualifying, continued in a similar vein edging out his Italian opponent thanks to a close-fought 6-4, 7-6 victory. Standing in the way of Cazaux and a fairytale quarterfinal appearance is World No5 Andrey Rublev, who tasted success at this tournament two years ago.

 

Meanwhile, there was to be no shock in the second match of the day on Centre Court as Karen Khachanov overcame a spirited performance from Lucky Loser Luca Van Assche in a 6-2, 6-3 victory. The match looked to be heading towards a second set with Dubai-resident Khachanov trailing 3-1, before an impressive turnaround from No4 seed.

 

On how he turned the second set in his fortune, the World No15 said: “First game in the second set, I served one double fault, let's say not as many first serves as I was serving before. He managed to take the lead. He returned a couple of times pretty strong, pretty hard through.

“He played more aggressive. He really went for the shots. It can happen. He played well; I didn't play as well from the beginning, but I'm happy. Look, I stayed calm; I stayed in the match, then managed to break him back twice and win from 3-1, 6-3. This is what counts at the end.”

Khachanov, who won the Qatar Open last week, will face Czech Jiri Lehecka – who overcame a stern challenge from Hungarian qualifier Marton Fucsovics – in the Round of 16 tomorrow.

 

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Tickets for this week's ATP event are available to purchase at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.    




Posted by : GoDubai Editorial Team
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Posted on : Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
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