After a 90-minute delay due to rain, Humbert went to meet his Norwegian opponent, but brought the match to a further halt when he had to tell the referee that he had nothing to hit the balls with.
“I don’t have rackets. I’m sorry,” Humbert said apologetically to the referee before throwing the ball.
Humbert and Ruud only had to wait a few minutes before someone burst into the court with three rackets, prompting cheers and applause from the Wimbledon fans and a shy smile from the Frenchman.
Maybe it was because of his embarrassment or imperfect preparation, but Humbert lost the first set before roaring ahead of Ruud, who finished second at this year’s French Open, in four sets.
Humbert interrupted Ruud’s serve six times and hit 53 winners as he advanced to the third round.
Humbert’s 3-6 6-2 7-5 6-4 victory was one of the biggest shocks in the men’s draw so far, with Ruud, the top-ranked third seed, being knocked out.
Humbert, ranked 112th in the world, has already found success on grass. The 24-year-old entered the top 25 in the world last year after winning the Halle Open in Germany in 2021.
After defeating Ruud for two hours and 36 minutes, Humbert said the surface suited his style of play.
“I love playing on grass. I played a lot of good games,” Humbert said. “This is a big win. The last few years he has played very well, so I am very happy.”
In the third round, Humbert will play Belgian David Goffin.