ATP Montpellier quarterfinal preview: Roberto Bautista Agut vs Ugo Humbert
Photo: Mark Metcalfe

Top seed Roberto Bautista Agut faces sixth seed Ugo Humbert in the quarterfinals of the Open Sud de France.

The Spaniard broke his three-match losing streak with a dominating 6-0, 6-3 victory over French qualifier Gregoire Barrere in the second round after receiving a first-round bye.

Humbert began his tournament with a straightforward 6-3, 7-6 over Norbert Gombos followed by a thrilling 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 win over Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor in a match that took nearly three hours.

This is the first career meeting between Bautista  Agut and Humbert and will be the final quarterfinal match to be played on Court Patrice Dominguez with the winner facing Dennis Novak or qualifier Peter Gojowczyk in the semifinals.

Assessment

The biggest key for Humbert will be patience as Bautista Agut is one of the most consistent players from the baseline on tour. He rarely gives away any free points and will make the Frenchman play extra balls in order to win points.

What the Frenchman will want to do is attack the Spaniard's backhand, which is by far his weaker wing while Humbert uses it to great effect. He also will look to finish points at the net to both shorten the points and play aggressively.

Bautista Agut doesn't have a big serve, but has good variety on it with his slice serve being his most effective. He can use it to pull Humbert off of the court and out of position. Conversely, the Frenchman can use natural spin on his serve being a lefty to show Bautista Agut something different.

Court positioning will be key as whoever has control of the baseline will be able to implement their style of play. Experience could also play a role as Bautista Agut has been in many more quarterfinals than Humbert.

Humbert will look to his backhand often/Photo: Alexis Reau/L'Equippe
Humbert will look to his backhand often/Photo: Alexis Reau/L'Equipe

Analysis

It's going to be a close match. Whoever wins will have earned it as this figures to go back and forth with some exceptional rallies. How Humbert attacks Bautista Agut's backhand and how the top seed will try to work the points will go a long way toward determining the outcome.

Eight of the last ten winners of his tournament have been French and Humbert is their last hope. There's something to be said for that and in a match that figures to go the distance, as many have this week, the sixth seed will pull off the upset.

Prediction: Ugo Humbert in three sets

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