After a 90-minute rain delay, Humbert set out to take on his Norwegian opponent only to stop the match further when he had to tell the referee he had nothing to hit the balls with.
“I don’t have any rackets. I’m sorry,” Humbert, excused from the referee, told the referee before throwing the ball.
Humbert and Rudd had to wait just a few minutes before someone rushed onto the court with three rackets, leading to cheers and applause from the Wimbledon fans, and a shy smile from the Frenchman.
Perhaps it was because of his embarrassment or imperfect preparation, but Humbert lost the first set before coming back up again to turn Ruud – this year’s French Open runner-up – in four sets.
Humbert broke Rudd six times and hit 53 winners as he advanced to the third round.
Humbert’s 3-6, 6-2 7-5, 6-4 win constitutes one of the biggest shocks in the men’s draw to date, with Rudd, the third seed, the best player to be eliminated.
Humbert, ranked 112th in the world, has had previous success on grass. The 24-year-old was ranked among the top 25 players in the world last year after winning the Halle Open in Germany in 2021.
After the win over Rudd, which took two hours and 36 minutes, Humbert said the deck suited his playing style.
“I love playing on the grass,” Humbert said. “I’ve played a lot of good matches.” “It’s a big victory. He’s played very well in the past few years, so I’m very happy.”
Humbert will meet Belgian David Goffin in the third round.
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