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Suddenly surging Ugo Humbert takes out third-seeded Casper Ruud

France’s Ugo Humbert sailed past third-seeded Casper Ruud to reach the third round at Wimbledon for the second time.

Ugo Humbert Ugo Humbert (Fra) || 234814_0035

Casper Ruud’s Wimbledon has come to a premature end. This year’s Roland-Garros runner-up, seeded third at SW19, was ousted by France’s Ugo Humbert in four sets, 3-6, 6-2, 7-5, 6-4, on Wednesday.

Humbert, who reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2019, improves to 17-9 on grass lifetime and sets a third-round clash with Belgium’s David Goffin.

“He played very well the last few years,” Humbert said of sixth-ranked Ruud. “I’m very happy, it was a great match, after the first set.”

Ruud has compiled 20 match wins across Roland-Garros, the Australian Open and the US Open, but the Norwegian has managed just one at Wimbledon. He achieved that this year, in his third Wimbledon appearance, with his first-round win over Albert Ramos-Vinolas, but could not keep up with the disruptive game of Humbert on Wednesday.

Humbert has excelled against Ruud on the faster surfaces. He improves to 3-1 lifetime over the Norwegian No 1 – he defeated Ruud twice in three meetings in 2022, winning in Auckland and Paris on hard courts, while losing in Hamburg on clay.

It was the world No 112 who turned the screws in the pair’s first meeting on grass. Humbert cracked 53 winners against 48 unforced errors, including 12 backhand winners. Ruud could only manage 21 winners against 21 unforced errors, and the Norwegian had his serve broken six times in 19 service games.

Turning around a miserable season

It has been a difficult compaign for the 24-year-old Frenchman, who entered the match with a 6-15 record on the season and 0-2 at the Grand Slams in 2022.

The former world No 25 has always enjoyed his time on the grass, however. In addition to reaching the round of 16 at Wimbledon in 2019, he was the Halle champion last season.

“I love to play on grass, I played a lot of good matches, I think about last year, playing a match against Kyrgios here (a first-round loss in five sets, 9-7 in the fifth) – it was a big battle,” he said.

“I think I play very nice because my serve and my backhand is very great,” he added with a smile.

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