Kazakh Alexander Bublik shocked 3rd seed and US Open finalist Alexander Zverev in the first round of the ATP 500 Rotterdam event.
The 7-5,6-3 win over Zverev is the best of the Kazakh’s career. And also his third in a row when facing a player ranked in the ATP top 10. Bublik beat world no.10 Matteo Berrettini 7-6(6), 6-4 in Antalya in January, where he reached the final, and ninth-ranked Gael Monfils at Roland-Garros last year.
Bublik has been in great form recently. Last week, he reached the final of the Singapore Open before bowing out to Alexei Popyrin 6-4,0-6,2-6.
I got a bit lucky and I was more consistent: Alexander Bublik
Zverev broke serve in the first game of the pair’s first meeting, but Bublik recovered to 4-4 and then played aggressively. He held on to the momentum to win the opening set.
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.
“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.”
Bublik will next meet American Tommy Paul, who knocked out Lorenzo Sonego of Italy 6-4, 7-6(7).