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Isner vs Humbert ATP Newport Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Isner faces young gun, Humbert in Newport semi-finals

Leye Aduloju in ATP Tour 20 Jul 2019
  • John Isner vs Ugo Humbert is live from Newport on Saturday, 20 July from 2:30pm local time/ 7:30pm BST
  • First meeting between Isner and Humbert
John Isner (PA Sport)

John Isner continues his bid for a fourth Newport title when he takes on French young gun, Ugo Humbert on the semi-finals on Saturday.

Isner is looking to reach his second final of the season, having also made the final at the Miami Open. The American was bothered by a foot injury during that Miami final, losing 6-1 6-4 to Roger Federer, and that problem would persist well beyond Miami, keeping him out of action for the next three months, ruling him out of the entire clay-court season. 

Isner rejoined the tour at Wimbledon, where he lost to Mikhail Kukushkin in the second round. That period of inactivity, plus the early Wimbledon exit, was naturally accompanied by a rankings drop- given that he made the semi-finals at Wimbledon in the previous year- with the American now ranked 15th in the world- the lowest he has been since March 2018.

Isner has had a tough week in Newport, needing three sets to get through each of his first two rounds. The top seed battled past Poland's Kamil Majchrzak 6-4 6-7 6-3 in his tournament opener, before recovering from the loss of the first set to beat Matthew Ebden in Friday's quarter finals. 

Isner powered down 24 aces against Ebden, serving at 72% and winning 80% of points on his first serve. The American was broken in the opening game of the match, but he held serve for the remainder of the contest, saving three more break points, and breaking once in each of the second and third sets en route a 4-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

Despite his limited playing time, the 34-year-old has now reached five semi-finals this season- the others being New York, Delray Beach, Acapulco and Miami- and he will attempt to get into a second final when he plays Humbert on Saturday.

“I’ve played almost four hours in two matches, but I need time on court. That’s why I came here,” the three-time Newport champion said. “I know what I have to do tomorrow. Ugo serves very well and he’s playing with a lot of confidence, so it’s just going to come down to a few points here and there.”


Humbert is having a really good spell on grass, with his semi-final run in Newport following a very impressive fourth-round showing at Wimbledon. The 20-year-old Frenchman defeated Gael Monfils (fifth-set retirement), Marcel Granollers and Felix Auger-Aliassime at Wimbledon before falling to world No. 1, Novak Djokovic in the fourth round.

He has backed it up with victories over Ramkumar Ramanathan and Ilya Ivashka in Newport to reach his second tour-level semi-final. He also made the last four in Marseille earlier in the year (lost to Mikhail Kukushkin).

His quarter final victory over Ivashka took almost two and a half hours, but he finished strongly, winning the last four games to complete the 7-5 3-6 6-2 victory.

A strong campaign on the Challenger Tour in 2018 pushed him to the brink of the top 100 (he finished at 102), and earmarked the left-hander as one of the young guns to watch in 2019. He hasn't exactly taken the main tour by storm this year, but he has done enough to break into the world's top 50, reaching 48th in the world after his exploits at the All England Club. 

Humbert is 11-14 this season, with eight of his wins shared amongst three tournaments- Marseille, Wimbledon and Newport. The three other victories were in Auckland, Lyon, and Antalya while he has lost opening round matches in nine other main draw appearances.

The left-hander has had a few dips at the Challengers, winning in Cherbourg in February, just a couple of weeks after making the semi-finals in Quimper. Can he take down John Isner on Saturday to reach his first tour-level final?

Isner retains that ability to serve his opponents out of the park, but the good news for Humbert is that the American hasn't been invincible this week, and could be feeling the effects of playing two long-three setters in the first two rounds.

I'll still back Isner to win, but Humbert is in good form, and is very capable of terminating the American's challenge for a fourth title.

John Isner vs Ugo Humbert is live from Newport on Saturday, 20 July from 2:30pm local time/ 7:30pm BST


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Isner vs Humbert ATP Newport Preview, Predictions and Live Streaming: Isner faces young gun, Humbert in Newport semi-finals

John Isner continues his bid for a fourth Newport title when he plays Ugo Humbert in the semi-finals on Saturday. Read our preview, predictions and stream the match live online.

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