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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.