This will be De Minaur’s first final in exactly a year, since 2019 in Basel. Photo by: Facebook/European Open
- The European Open final is a meeting of young guns: Alex de Minaur is 21, Ugo Humbert 22
- The tournament began with 1,000 fans a day; worsening COVID-19 conditions in Belgium required them to close the doors this weekend
- Can de Minaur overcome his poor record against lefties? We break it down
Unlike in the competing event in Cologne, the favorites did not survive at the European Open.
Early picks in Antwerp included No. 1 seed David Goffin and No. 2 Pablo Carreño Busta, who has been on a roll.
But Goffin tested positive for the coronavirus and had no practice coming in. He lost his opening match.
Busta lost to Ugo Humbert in his opening match.
The two left standing are the No. 8 seed Alex de Minaur and the unseeded Humbert.
Alex de Minaur vs Ugo Humbert Odds
| Alex de Minaur (AUS)||-2.5 (-120)||-175||O 22.5 (-110)|
|Ugo Humbert (FRA)||+2.5 (-120)||+137||U 22.5 (-125)|
Odds as of Oct 24
Marathon Semifinals For Both
Both de Minaur and Humbert earned it the hard way in Saturday’s semifinals.
Humbert saved four match points before prevailing 4-6, 7-6 (7), 6-4 against Dan Evans of Great Britain.
The match featured 24 break-point opportunities (they converted three apiece) and 239 total points.
De Minaur needed two hours, 48 minutes to upset No. 4 seed Grigor Dimitrov 7-6 (4) 6-7 (3), 6-4. The Aussie went 5-for-11 on break points; Dimitrov went 4-for-8. They played a total of 236 points.
😈@alexdeminaur 🇦🇺 secures his place in the final of the #EuropeanOpen2020 ⚡️
See what he had to say after the semi-final against Grigor Dimitrov 🎙️#ATPTour pic.twitter.com/aIzRtwJ1gZ
— European Open (@EuroTennisOpen) October 24, 2020
The final is at 4pm.
De Minaur got the later start Saturday, and only finished up around 10:30pm while Humbert was done by 7pm
It’s short rest for both. But Humbert definitely has the advantage there.
One Meeting In Juniors
This will be the first meeting between de Minaur and Humbert in the pros.
But they do have a little history.
In Jan. 2016, when de Minaur was a month shy of 17 and Humbert eight months ahead, they met in bthe main tuneup for the Australian Open junior event in the third round.
Minaur won it 4-6, 6-3, 6-3.
Random fact: Humbert has been beaten by Aussies in the first round of Grand Slam tournaments twice this year: by John Millman in Australia, and by Marc Polmans at the French Open. So de Minaur will be able to get some intel from his mates.
Alex de Minaur vs Ugo Humbert Head-to-Head
|21 (Feb. 17, 1999)||Age||22 (June 26, 1998)|
|Sydney, Australia||Birthplace||Metz. France|
|3||Career ATP Singles Titles||1|
|No. 18 (Oct. 28, 2019)||Career High Ranking||No. 38 (Sept. 28, 2020)|
|No. 29||Current Ranking||No. 38|
|10-7||2020 Won/Loss record (includes Antwerp)||20-11|
|$4,418,354||Career Prize Money||$1,656,357|
De Minaur Struggles vs Lefties
Coming into this week, de Minaur had faced just two lefties in the last 15 months. What’s more surprising is his career record against them in ATP Tour main draw matches.
Other than wins over veteran Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco in his hometown of Sydney in 2018 – he made his first career ATP Tour final that week – de Minaur had been winless until this week.
He did beat Denis Shapovalov at the ATP Cup in January, in a tight three-setter.
ATP Main Draws: Alex de Minaur vs Lefties
|2020 ANTWERP||Feliciano Lopez (ESP)||6-4, 6-2||Win|
|2020 Rome||Dominik Koepfer (GER)||6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (5)||Loss|
|2019 Cincinnati||Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)||5-7, 4-6||Loss|
|2018 Paris Masters||Feliciano Lopez (ESP)||7-6 (4), 4-6, 6-7 (6)||Loss|
|2018 Miami||Yoshihito Nishioka (JPN)||2-6, 4-6||Loss|
|2018 Sydney||Feliciano Lopez (ESP)||6-4, 6-4||Win|
|2018 Sydney||Fernando Verdasco (ESP)||6-4, 6-2||Win|
|2017 Brisbane||Mischa Zverev (GER)||3-6, 3-6||Loss|
Pertinent to Sunday’s final matchup are his losses to Dominik Koepfer and Yoshihito Nishioka.
Like those two, Humbert is not a particularly big server.
And he showed against Evans Saturday that he can grind out lung-busting baseline rallies, which are de Minaur’s stock-in-trade.
There Will Be Breaks
His record at the ATP level doesn’t show it yet, but Humbert won four indoor Challengers over the last two years.
And the Frenchman clearly likes the conditions in Antwerp. He lost to eventual champion Andy Murray in the semifinals a year ago in his debut. This year, he’s in the final.
De Minaur had a great result in Basel a year ago, reaching the final. But he’s played relatively little on the European indoor circuits.
The Aussie has broken at least four times in each of his first four matches. Humbert has an average of 2.5 breaks per match. If you can find good odds on +5.5 breaks in the match, it would be worth taking. So is a three-set match (+137 at Bet365).
Best Bet: Humbert in three sets (+137)
Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.