ORTISEI, October 14, 2018
Ugo Humbert is the champion of the 9th edition of the Sparkasse Challenger Val Gardena Südtirol. The 20-year-old emerged victorious from Sunday’s all-French final of the €64,000 ATP Challenger event 6-4, 6-2 against top seed Pierre-Hugues Herbert.
Humbert was in control of the encounter, saved both break points he faced, converting three of his own four opportunities to seal victory in one hour and one minute.
“I was able to play my game. I stayed aggressive and tried to come to the net,” Humbert said after his second victory over Herbert in as many meetings between the two. “It was a good match and a good win against a very strong player.”
The #NextGenATP player from Metz takes away €9,200 in prize money as well as 80 ATP-Ranking points. Humbert will crack the top 100 for the first time.
“This means a lot to me. It has been my dream since I was kid. This is amazing. I am happy right now and I hope to continue like this.” Humbert will next play at the ATP Challenger in Ismaning next week.
20 years of international tennis in South Tyrol
International tennis in Val Gardena has celebrated its 20th anniversary this year. After 11 ITF Women’s tournaments, the Tennis Club Ortisei decided in 1998 to organize an ATP Challenger event for the first time.
“The first year was paticularly exciting. The financing of the tournament was challenging at the beginning but our team spirit, our enthusiasm and passion for tennis enabled us to overcome the difficulties,” stated Wolfgang Wanker, tournament director of the event from 1998 to 2015.
“These days the Val Gardena tournament is among the most important Italian tournaments. The fact that it is now an established international tournament gives me great pride and satisfaction,” he added.
The future of the event, however, seems to be uncertain. Due to the changes of the structure on the ATP Challenger Tour in 2019, a couple of changes will be necessary.
“We need an additional practice court as well as capacitiy for the accommodation of the players and staff,” Ellis Kasslatter, president of the Organizing Committee explains. “We really would love to continue with the event.”