TWO huge ATP 500 finals played out overnight, with the resulting winners proving relentless in both Halle, Germany and London, England as both victors claimed their maiden ATP 500 titles in the process. World number 31 Ugo Humbert upset fourth seed Russian Andrey Rublev in Germany, whilst in London it was top seed Matteo Berrettini who downed British hopeful Cameron Norrie on home soil.
Both competitors came away with intriguing finishes, as Humbert went 3-0 in finals wins, with his former two both ATP 250 events in 2020, whilst Berrettini was the first player to win on debut at Cinch since a 17-year-old Boris Becker in 1985.
“[It was an] unbelievable week,” Berrettini said. “If I think about [Boris’] name and my name, it’s crazy. I was dreaming about playing this tournament. I was watching [it] when I was a kid and now I had the chance to lift the trophy, so it’s a dream come true.”
Berrettini required one hour and 57 minutes to get his hands on the cinch trophy, overcoming Norrie 6-4 6-7(5) 6-3. He utilised his service games, and served up a whopping 19 aces for one double fault throughout the three sets, winning 91 per cent of his first serve points off a 76 per cent clip.
“It was definitely a really good week. When you win a tournament, it means that you’re playing good. But I think during the tournament, after every match I was increasing my level,” Berrettini said. “I think today I had to play my best tennis, especially in the important points, to win… I’m really happy with my performance overall.”
Norrie was searching for a maiden ATP Tour level title, with his fourth final – and third of the season – going the same way as his first three, however proving there is plenty of success to come in the future for the 25-year-old.
“He’s a great player. We never played each other and I think this year he’s shown how he can play on all surfaces,” Berrettini said. “He’s made finals, he’s playing great tennis… I’m sure he’s going to lift a title really soon.”
“I think I played okay. The first set I just donated him the break, and that was the first set. I didn’t have any really chances on his serve,” Norrie said. “But he’s tricky because he’s obviously serving very good [on the] first and second serve, and then you’re back to serving very quickly. Obviously not easy, but I did everything I could.”
For Humbert, it was a straight sets sweep that was by no means straightforward against Rublev, requiring 87 minutes to take down the Russian 6-3 7-6(4).
“It is incredible. It is the best victory of my career,” Humbert said. “I am very proud because it wasn’t easy. I was a little bit tired, but I tried to stay focused on each point, and did what I could, so it is very nice.
“I tried to stay aggressive and take the ball early because in the baseline rallies it was tough, because Andrey was hitting the ball very hard. Physically, it was tough, and I tried to take my chances when I could, and I won.”
The 22-year-old left-hander won 85 per cent of his first serve points off a 73 per cent clip and hit nine aces on his way to victory, and saved both break points opportunities that came his way.
“It has been a really great week for me, with my first grass final,” Rublev said. “It was not easy in the beginning. Everything was so fast, just one or two shots. At 3-4 I hit three second serves in a row and he returned twice deep and with the new balls it was really tough.”
“The second set was good for both of us. In the tie-break I had a big chance with the forehand but I missed them, but it happens and I can’t control it. He was serving very well.”
In Spain, the Mallorca Championships have begun with the opening day of events seeing just two matches play out, with Spaniard Pablo Andujar falling to Jordan Thompson in three, unable to contain the Australian’s 14 aces, whilst Frenchman Adrian Mannarino overcame german Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 6-3.
CINCH CHAMPIONSHIPS FINAL RESULT:
 Matteo Berrettini (ITA) defeated Cameron Norrie (GBR) 6-4 6-7 6-3
NOVENTI OPEN FINAL RESULT:
Ugo Humbert (FRA) defeated  Andrey Rublev (RUS) 6-3 7-6
MALLORCA CHAMPIONSHIPS ROUND OF 32 RESULTS:
Adrian Mannarino (FRA) defeated Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 7-6 6-3
Jordan Thompson (AUS) defeated Pablo Andujar (ESP) 2-6 7-6 6-2
Picture credit: Getty Images for LTA