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“He brings fans to the game”- Alexander Bublik defends Nick Kyrgios amidst ATP’s warning of harsh penalties over on-court outbursts

Alexander Bublik weighs in his opinion over ATP's recent crackdown on players over on-court outbursts.

Alexander Bublik and Nick Kyrgios

Alexander Bublik held off a resurgent Stan Wawrinka to win his opener at the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters. The Kazakh came back from a set down to defeat the 3-time Grand Slam champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-2. Wawrinka was playing in his first-tour level match in 13 months but made a stunning start in the match by winning the opening set in just 28 minutes. But soon his fight dwindled out as Bublik bounced back to win the next two sets and put an end to Wawrinka’s hopes of a win on his comeback. Bublik will next take on 13th seed Pablo Carreno-Busta in the second round.

“This is sport, there’s supposed to be a bit of emotion“: Alexander Bublik

Alexander Bublik

After his win, Bublik let it all unfold in an interview with Tennis Channel. He spoke in length about a range of topics from Wawrinka’s comeback, to his own assessment of his game on clay, among others. Bublik was quizzed about his opinion on ATP’s recent crackdown on players, wherein they warned players of strict action over misconduct. Many fans and pundits supported it, but the Kazakh said he is not a fan of this decision as it seemingly imposes a ‘cage’ over players and there is no room for expressing emotions.

Nick Kyrgios was hit with fines for his outbursts at the Indian Wells and Miami Open. In California, Kyrgios nearly hit a ballboy with his racket, whereas in Miami, the Australian lashed out at the chair umpire in an expletive-laden rant. But Bublik is of the opinion that Kyrgios bring fans to the stadium for the entertainment factor he adds. He added even the doubles matches had a high fan turnout because of Kyrgios. However, he said there needs to be a proper line over certain incidents, but not at the expense of players, wherein they aren’t even allowed to talk.

“If that’s happened after all the explosion in American swing with Nick then- Nick brings tonnes of fans. I mean what are we here for, what are they here for, to watch guys with suit walking on court. This is sport, there’s supposed to be a bit of emotions. They put us in some kind of cage, where we cannot talk. For me-I’m 24 years old and I see that who brings attendance to the game? Who brings fans to doubles? Have you ever seen doubles fans? No. And he (Kyrgios) brings doubles fans.”

If they want to- because sometimes he does something, improper for tennis, for this rules. You want to make a cage even tight for us, I don’t think it’s good for sport. In America, the stadium was filled, Australia- filled, Indian Wells everywhere and Houston. I’m not a fan of it, I think we should have more room. I think we need people who bring attendances. Of course, you cannot do certain things and you need to be punished, but let us talk, don’t look at us every minute when we talk,” he said.

Also read: “You are f***ing dead” Nick Kyrgios shares screenshots of death threats to him after another controversial exit in Houston