Fixture: Ugo Humbert vs Jiri Vesely
Date: 24 September 2020
Tournament: Hamburg European Open 2020
Round: Second round (Round of 16)
Venue: Hamburg, Germany
Category: ATP 500
Surface: Red clay
Prize money: €1,062,520
Match timing: 4.30 pm CEST, 8 pm IST
Live telecast: USA - ESPN / Tennis Channel | India - Sony Six
Ugo Humbert vs Jiri Vesely preview
France's Ugo Humbert will look to continue his good form at the Hamburg European Open as he takes on Jiri Vesely in the second round on Thursday.
Humbert comes into the match on the back of a remarkable win over World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev. Medvedev was seeded first at the tournament and was looking to gain some match time on clay ahead of the French Open. But Humbert proved to be a thorn in his side as he swept past the Russian, displaying some excellent tennis along the way.
The Frenchman has been in good form all year. After winning the first ATP title of his career in Auckland, the 22-year-old continued to make solid progress on the tour before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although he was not at his absolute best on the American hardcourts after the resumption, the European clay has been much kinder to Humbert. The Frenchman reached the third round at the Rome Masters, bowing out to Denis Shapovalov in a hard-fought 7-6 1-6 4-6 loss.
Humbert now comes up against Czech Republic's Jiri Vesely, who has been a mainstay on the tour for the better part of a decade. Vesely's 2020 season had gotten off to a great start with a title-winning run in Pune, but his post-lockdown form has not been the best.
That said, the Czech would have gained some confidence after clean wins in the qualification stage and a straight-sets win over veteran Gilles Simon in the first round.
Ugo Humbert vs Jiri Vesely head-to-head
The meeting in Hamburg is the first between Ugo Humbert and Jiri Vesely on the ATP tour, so their head-to-head stands at 0-0. Humbert is currently ranked 41st in the world rankings, while Vesely is ranked 72nd.
The pair did meet on the Challenger tour at Mouilleron-Le-Captif in 2019, where Vesely overcame Humbert 6-4 7-6.
Ugo Humbert vs Jiri Vesely prediction
If Ugo Humbert can produce the kind of tennis that he did against Medvedev, he would be the overwhelming favorite in this match.
The Frenchman's brand of aggressive baseline tennis was on full display in the first round. He used his strong forehand to put immense pressure on his opponent in long baseline exchanges, and also showed off his deft touch with several perfectly executed volleys and drop shots.
Jiri Vesely will need to be at his absolute best, especially on serve, if he hopes to prevail against Humbert. However, the Frenchman's solid groundstrokes off both wings coupled with his momentum from the last match may prove to be too much for Vesely.
Prediction: Ugo Humbert to win in straight sets.Published 23 Sep 2020, 21:50 IST