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Allez les bleus on the ATP Tour

by Jonas Eriksson

It was a week of Allez les bleus on the ATP Tour. Adrian Mannarino and Ugo Humbert picked up ATP titles in Sofia and Moselle.

The Humbert win was according to our prediction in the post about Alexander Shevchenko. The Frenchman had a great week and can play at the highest level when he is in form. Can he bring this kind of game into 2024 on a regular basis? Then he can pose trouble to the top 10 in the world.

Before we get into countryman Adrian Mannarino’s win in Sofia…

Ugo Humbert’s Racquet

Ugo Humbert’s Racquet is a Blade 98 16×19, but the question remains on which model. The fellow racquet detectives at Tennis Warehouse forums reason that it is likely a 2015. Since I am a huge fan of the 2015 16×19 Blade myself, I’d like to think that they are right, but it’s not easy to know for sure unless you get to hold it in your hand.

The string looks like Luxilon 4G at first glance, but a stringer claims he strung Luxilon Original Rough at 22 kg (49 lbs) in 2020, and pro players are not keen on making changes to setups that work for them.

Many ATP pros are using the Wilson Blade, which I talk about here. If you are a Tennisnerd member, you might have caught a view of the new V9 Blade coming early next year.

How far do you think Humbert can go in 2024?

The trickiest player on tour?

Is Adrian Mannarino the trickiest player to beat on the tour? The talk around the locker rooms is that no one likes to play him. He has an awkward lefty style with short swings, and that low string tension can produce some unexpected spin and pace on his shots.

Jack Draper is a big hitter and made the final in Sofia close (7-6 2-6 6-3 to Mannarino), but in the end, Mannarino won his sixth ATP title, which should propel him to his best ATP singles ranking ever, within the top 20 unless I miscalculated.

I have joined a Mannarino practice (watch the video on the TN YouTube channel) and from up close you can see how talented he is timing the ball. He has a great touch and feel, which you need to be able to play with 10-12 kg string tension!

Mannarino has forced top ten players to shake their heads numerous times on tour and he remains a difficult draw as we move into 2024. Maybe he will bring a small trend of incredibly low string tensions with him? :)

Allez les bleus?

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