Alexander Bublik recorded the biggest win of his career on Wednesday at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament.
The Kazakhstani played with great discipline to beat World No. 7 Alexander Zverev of Germany 7-5, 6-3 in 77 minutes for a place in the second round at the Rotterdam Ahoy.
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“Beating Sascha is great,” said Bublik, who has won his past three matches against Top 10 opponents. “There were ups and downs for both of us throughout the match, I got a bit lucky and I was perhaps a little more consistent. I’m just enjoying playing matches right now.”
Three days ago, World No. 43 Bublik finished runner-up to Alexei Popyrin at the Singapore Tennis Open. He also reached the Antalya Open final in January.
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Bublik will next meet American Tommy Paul, who knocked out Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-4, 7-6(7) in two hours. Sonego held one set point at 7/6 in the second set tie-break.
Zverev broke serve in the first game of the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting, but Bublik recovered to 4-4 and then played aggressively.
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The 23-year-old capitalised on Zverev attacking the net in the 11th game, striking two powerful forehands and an easy put-away to break serve.
Zverev regrouped by taking a 3-1 lead in the second set, but the third seed let Bublik back in. Bublik saved two break points when he served for the match, which ended with Zverev striking a backhand wide.
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The 23-year-old Zverev compiled a 12-match winning streak at indoor tournaments in 2020, including back-to-back ATP Tour titles in Cologne.