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Ugo Humbert, qualified for the quarter-finals in Doha after his victory against Pavel Kotov: “A great state of mind”

“How do you analyze your victory against Pavel Kotov (6-4, 6-1)? Was the turning point this long game at 4-4 during which you saved several break points?
It was a good first match. I didn’t necessarily expect to play really well. It was my first match outside. I made do with the conditions. I had a great state of mind from the start of the match. I had break opportunities up to 4-4. I didn’t get excited. I said to myself: “If you continue like this, you will succeed in making a difference. » The 4-4 game was tight. This is the only game where I was a little in danger on my serve. It felt good to win it. I immediately tried to push for the next play. It didn’t have any firsts, I took advantage of it. And afterward, I continued to play seriously, solidly. Quite quickly, I managed to tell the difference. It was a good match overall.

“I try to concentrate on the first points of my service games every time. Try to be 15-0, 30-0 straight away. Behind, it’s easier”

Is it difficult to go from indoor to outdoor in a few days?
It’s very windy here. Training hasn’t been easy since I arrived, but you have to deal with it. I try to do the best I can every day. These are also conditions that I like, it’s quite fast, it’s pleasant to play here, it’s a great tournament, we’re in good conditions. I’m happy, I’m in the quarter-finals, I have a good match tomorrow (Thursday, against the winner of Monfils-Zhang), it’s going to be cool.

You only lost four points behind your first ball in the entire match. What do you get from having such a weapon?
I try to concentrate on the first points of my service games each time. Try to be 15-0, 30-0 straight away. Behind, it’s easier. I try to serve safe areas, without forcing. I feel that my service is not easy to read. In conditions like that, it’s not easy to turn around. I try to build on that. It takes the pressure off my return games. It allows me to try a little more, to go a little more because I know that I can be quite calm about my service games.

We saw you encourage yourself a lot between each point…
At 4-4, I pushed myself a little more because I felt that I was having trouble giving the little boost when it was needed, when I had to make the difference. I tried to talk to myself a lot. Sometimes I’m not alone in my head so that makes me feel good (smile). I’m here, I’m present, I’m doing the best I can. It’s part of my DNA to talk to myself. Sometimes I do it internally. But I like to have a fairly positive speech to boost me. »

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