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Tennis News • Zverev Does The Cologne Double, Humbert Defeats de Minaur In Antwerp

French Ugo Humbert celebrates with the trophy after winning the final match against Australian Alex De Minaur at the ATP Tennis European Open tournament in Antwerp, Belgium, 25 October 2020.

By Ricky Dimon

Two weeks, two titles, one venue.

Alexander Zverev went back-to-back in Cologne on Sunday, following up his bett1HULKS Indoors title by winning the bett1HULKS Championship. The seventh-ranked German needed only one hour and 11 minutes to thrash Diego Schwartzman 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

Zverev fired nine aces without double-faulting a single time and saved the only break point he faced to cruise past Schwartzman, who is still in position to qualify for the Nitto ATP Finals.

Alexander Zverev of Germany in action during his final match against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina at the bett1HULKS Championships ATP tennis tournament in Cologne, Germany, 25 October 2020.

“I know in finals you have to play your best tennis to have a chance, so obviously (I am) extremely happy with my performance,” the top seed assured. “Probably the best match of the past two weeks here. Diego is someone that you can really struggle with; he is somebody who doesn’t miss from the baseline. You really have to win the match against him and I felt like that’s what I did.”

“Sascha was much better today,” Schwartzman admitted. “He deserved to win last week here and today he was perfect on court.”

At the European Open in Antwerp, Ugo Humbert beat Alex de Minaur 6-1, 7-6(4) in Sunday’s championship match. Humbert held all 10 of his service games while saving just two break points to triumph in one hour and 37 minutes.

This is the second career title for the 22-year-old Frenchman, having previously lifted the trophy in Auckland nine months ago. It was not easy then (Humbert outlasted Benoit Paire in a third-set tiebreaker) and it was not easy now. During Saturday’s semifinals, Humbert saved four match points before overcoming Dan Evans 4-6, 7-6(7), 6-4 in three hours and 12 minutes.

“Tennis is completely crazy sometimes,” Humbert said. “It was great to win against Evans yesterday with four match points [saved]. I don’t know what happened today; it was a really nice level, a great match. It is one of my biggest wins. I am super happy to win my second title this year against a really great player. I was aggressive like the previous matches and I am super happy to do it.”

“Heck of a week mate,” de Minaur told his opponent during the trophy ceremony. “You definitely deserved to win today. For me, this is a very important week. I’ve managed to get back to level I wanted to play at and play another final, which is great for me. This is a huge step in the right direction.”

Zverev is deservedly off next week as one of the few top players who is not participating at the 500-point tournament in Vienna. Schwartzman, who is currently eighth in the race to London (would be ninth except Roger Federer is out for the year), will play in Vienna along with de Minaur.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.