“In my head I don’t necessarily have limits,” assured French tennis player Ugo Humbert on Wednesday, winner of the ATP 500 tournament in Dubai last week, who projects towards the Top 10 in the world after reaching his best ranking on Monday ( 14th).

Humbert (25 years old), exempt from the first round, must start the Masters 1000 in Indian Wells (California, United States) on Saturday against an American, either Ethan Quinn or Patrick Kypson.

How do you explain your current success? “Since the end of last year, I feel much stronger in all areas of the game, whether mental, physical and also tennis-wise. My gaming identity is much clearer. I manage to stabilize a level, which allows me to be more solid and find myself at my best ranking. Thanks to the team I have around me, I feel calmer in my head, I have less stress when I arrive on the circuit. I feel calm, that’s the word. When I get on the court, I know what I have to do. I also know that I won’t win tournaments every week, I’m aware of that, that’s what also allows me to be good. I know that by being so strong I am capable of annoying the very best, that’s what makes me tick. I know that I am capable of a lot of things, in my head I don’t necessarily have limits, this feeling is nice.”

You still have one step left to take in the biggest tournaments… “Last year when I started playing the best again I failed every time, because I was no longer used to these intensities -there. But from playing them regularly since last year, I’ve gotten used to playing at this level. I know that to take another step forward I have to try to play better at the Masters 1000 and the Grand Slams. In Dubai, I won against Hubert Hurkacz (8th in the world) and Daniil Medvedev (4th), it could be a Masters 1000 table. I have to realize that I am capable of it.

You are 14th in the world, your best ranking. Is the Top 10 a short-term goal? “It’s super exciting. Since I entered the Top 20, every day it’s not lively, I say to myself ”what else can I look for to try to progress?”. It’s close to my heart to get into the Top 10, I’m getting closer. If I do things right, it should come naturally.”

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