The sixth seed, who lost in the first round at this event in 2019 and 2020, recovered from 2-5 down in the second set to advance in 78 minutes. Humbert struck 18 aces and dropped just six points behind his first serve (42/48) to improve to 2-2 in 2021. Since competing at last year’s edition of the ATP 250, Humbert has doubled his ATP Tour trophy collection (2) and risen to a career-high No. 30 in the FedEx ATP Rankings (November 2020).
Humbert is aiming to become the fifth Frenchman to claim the Montpellier title since the tournament made its ATP Tour debut in 2010. Eight of the previous 10 editions of the singles event have been won by French players.
Humbert is chasing his third ATP Tour title on hard courts in 13 months. Last year, the Frenchman claimed his first two tour-level trophies in Auckland and Antwerp. The 22-year-old will face Dutch qualifier Tallon Griekspoor or American Marcos Giron in the second round.