Nearly 24 hours after winning a four-hour quarter-final marathon, Ugo Humbert returned to court Saturday, when he advanced to the championship match at the Sardegna Open. The Frenchman will fight for the title against Laslo Djere, who rallied to upset second seed Ben Shelton at the ATP Challenger Tour 175 event in Cagliari.

The Frenchman Humbert ousted Daniel Elahi Galan 6-2, 7-6(3). Despite holding a 5-2 lead in the second set, including a match point on serve at 5-4, the 24-year-old was pushed to a tie-break before closing out the match in one hour, 41 minutes; a sharp contrast to Humbert’s four-hour, 13-minute victory against Taro Daniel in the quarter-finals, where he saved three match points to survive.

“I was just trying to do my best every point, even if I was serving for the match,” Humbert said in his post-match press conference. “You have to stay focused and wait for a good opportunity.”

Humbert, a seven-time Challenger champion, will aim for his first clay-court title in Sunday’s final.

“Normally I only win one or two matches on clay per year, but I’m enjoying it this year,” Humbert said. “Super proud to be in the final.”

Fourth seed Djere defeated World No. 38 Ben Shelton 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach his first Challenger final since June 2018.

Laslo Djere celebrates a semi-final victory at the Sardegna Open. Credit: Mike Lawrence/ATP Tour

This isn’t the first time the Serbian Djere has found success in Cagliari. In 2020, Djere captured his second tour-level title at the ATP 250 event on the Italian island.

In doubles action, top seeds Maximo Gonzalez and Andres Molteni will contest third seeds Alexander Erler and Lucas Miedler in the championship match.

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