WELLINGTON (Reuters) – Ugo Humbert won his maiden ATP Tour title with a 7-6(2) 3-6 7-6(5) win over fifth Benoit Paire in a thrilling all- final at the Auckland Classic on Saturday.

Humbert raced to a 3-0 lead in the first set of the Australian Open -up event before Paire staged a comeback to force a tie-breaker.

Rising 21-year-old Humbert regained the upper hand to take a 1-0 lead but looked nervy in the second set, allowing Paire to draw .

Paire looked jaded in the decider, having five three-setters throughout the week, but refused to throw in the towel when Humbert served for the championship at 5-3.

Paire fired three consecutive backhand winners and went on to force another tie-break before Humbert finally sealed to ensure he will jump inside the top 45 for the first time on Monday.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Peter Rutherford)