Humbert continues fine final form to clinch Dubai ATP

Dubai: Fifth seed Ugo Humbert maintained his perfect record in finals by beating Alexander Bublik 6-4, 6-3 to claim the Dubai ATP title on Saturday.

The Frenchman joins Ernests Gulbis and Martin Klizan as the only men in the Open Era to win their first six tour-level finals, with his victory over Bublik earning him a second trophy of the season.

The 25-year-old will make his top-15 debut at 14 when the updated rankings are released on Monday.

"I played a fantastic level during all the week, but today was not easy," said Humbert during the trophy ceremony.

"I have a good statistic in finals, but that's because I have a really good team around me," he added.

Humbert had a tough path to the title in Dubai.

He came back from a set down in his opener against his compatriot Gael Monfils, before knocking out Andy Murray, saving three match points against Hubert Hurkacz, and upsetting champion and top seed Daniil Medvedev in straight sets in the last-four.

Humbert joins Jannik Sinner as the only multiple-title winners in 2024, He also won in Marseille last month. He added a second ATP 500 trophy to his cabinet, following his success in Halle three years ago.

Meanwhile, Bublik, who reached the final when Andrey Rublev was shockingly defaulted late in their semi-final, will rise to a career-high 19 in the world thanks to his exploits in Dubai.

"This week had everything for me and I'm really happy to be here. Thank you, Ugo for reminding me how it is to lose a final," said the 26-year-old Bublik on court.

"Honestly, before the final, I thought if I would win, I would dedicate this title to my son.

"So I'm sorry, maybe next time," he added.

The players were neck and neck for most of the opening set but a risky second serve from Bublik led the Kazakhstani big-hitter to double fault and hand the frame to Humbert on the 47-minute mark.

Humbert put pressure on the Bublik serve to break serve in game four of the second set and was soon up 4-1.

Bublik tried to get in Humbert's head as the Frenchman was serving for the championship, stepping well inside the baseline to return serve.

Humbert held his nerve, saving break point and securing victory in his first meeting with Bublik on his second match point with a blitzing forehand winner. Humbert threw himself to the ground in disbelief to celebrate his hard-fought title run.

Although Bublik had entered the final with an impressive 56 aces struck through four matches, it was Humbert who out-aced his opponent on Saturday, striking nine of his own to Bublik's eight during the 85-minute final.

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