Fixture: (3) Alexander Zverev vs Ugo Humbert
Date: 17 June 2021
Tournament: Noventi Open 2021
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Halle, Germany
Category: ATP 500
Prize money: €1,318,605
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime Video
Alexander Zverev vs Ugo Humbert preview
Fresh off his semi-final run at Roland Garros last week, Alexander Zverev entered Halle as the third seed. But with second seed Stefanos Tsitsipas pulling out and top seed Daniil Medvedev losing to Jan-Lennard Struff in the first round, the 24-year-old is the highest-ranked player remaining in the final 16.
On Tuesday, Zverev faced fellow German Dominik Koepfer in the opening round. Like Zverev's, Koepfer's final match in Paris was a thriller, although it ended in defeat at the hands of Roger Federer.
Before entering Halle, Koepfer took part in Stuttgart, where he suffered a first-round loss to Jurij Rodionov.
So when the two Germans crossed paths on Tuesday, Zverev, a two-time runner-up at Halle, was expected to have it easy, given his opponent was on the back of a two-match losing streak.
But opening rounds are always tricky, especially when transitioning to a new surface. Though Zverev got off to a good start and claimed the opening set, Koepfer hit back to force a decider. But the World No. 6 was nearly unplayable on serve in the third set, winning 87% of his service points to eke out the victory.
He next faces Ugo Humbert in the second round on Thursday.
Humbert also competed in Stuttgart last week, winning two matches before falling to Felix Auger-Aliassime in two tiebreaks in the quarterfinals.
The victories came after a run of five consecutive defeats on the tour, including an opening-round exit at the French Open.
In his round-of-32 match in Halle on Tuesday, the 22-year-old took on big-serving Sam Querrey. Humbert lost the first set but took the second in a tiebreaker.
The deciding set was filled with draas Humbert led by a break twice and had two match points on serve, only to be pegged back.
In the ensuing tiebreak, the Frenchman went down an early mini-break. But right when the momentum seemed to have shifted in the American's favor, Humbert raised his game to book a spot in the second round.
Alexander Zverev vs Ugo Humbert head-to-head
Alexander Zverev and Ugo Humbert will face each other for the first time on Thursday, so their head-to-head currently stands at 0-0.
Alexander Zverev vs Ugo Humbert prediction
Based on the Elo ratings provided by Tennis Abstract, Alexander Zverev entered the tournament at 1849 Elo while Ugo Humbert entered at 1698 Elo.
The difference in their scores translates to a win probability of 70.46% for Zverev.
The German is expected to win around 76% of his service points, while Humbert is expected to win around 66% of his.
Prediction: Alexaneder Zverev to win 6-4 6-4.