Unless you follow the ATP and TennisTV accounts on social media, you may not have seen the name Alexander Bublik too often. If you’ve seen his bewildering trick shots, you’ll know just how talented this guy is. Not only does he have the ability to pull off impossible looking shots, he’s also proving to be a serious player. Currently in a great run of form; it’s about time he deserves more recognition.
Alexander Bublik: Underrated Maverick
The biggest and most box office maverick in tennis right now is, of course, Nick Kyrgios. Kyrgios is known globally by sports fans and makes headlines constantly. This isn’t simply down to his maverick-like playstyle, but also due to the shenanigans he brings to the court. People are always thrilled to see what shot Kyrgios will play next, while many have claimed that tennis has been crying out for a player like this.
Well, Bublik is exactly this, but without the constant drama. He hits ridiculous tweeners, no-look shots, and underarm serves to an impressively high quality–on a weekly basis. However, he doesn’t receive a fraction of the publicity that Kyrgios gets. Even the tennis social media accounts that promote Bublik’s hot shots often marginalize players like him so they can promote Kyrgios in any way they can.
This isn’t always a bad thing. Kyrgios is the most marketable character in tennis right now, and the excitement around him draws in huge audiences from all over the world. However, if people want to see someone perform maverick-like tennis, then players like Bublik deserve far more attention. His abilities aren’t limited to this, either. The 23-year-old is making impressive strides on the tour. He is winning more and more consistently, which is an impressive feat for a maverick like him.
Four Finals and Counting
Last week in Singapore, Bublik reached the fourth final of his career. Despite a three-set loss to the exciting Aussie youngster Alexei Popyrin, Bublik continued to show plenty of promise on his way to the final. He displayed a stunning blend of hot shots and intelligent tennis, beating some quality players such as Yoshihito Nishioka and Radu Albot.
This run saw him reach a career-high ranking of World #43, and he will undoubtedly continue to rise. Bublik has now made two finals already this year, and his good form continues in Rotterdam this week. With this consistency he will surely continue to make many more finals. Hopefully he will cross the finish line in the not so distant future.
For someone who loves to hit audacious hot shots and find impossible angles, Bublik’s wins look even more impressive. Many maverick players can perform incredible shots in their matches, but often struggle to win by implementing a solid game plan. Bublik is showing that a combination of the two is achievable. It will be fascinating to see if he can improve this further.
Three Consecutive Top 10 Wins
Bublik may not be making headlines for huge runs at big tournaments, but he’s won his last three matches against Top 10 players. To defeat Gaël Monfils, Matteo Berrettini, and Alexander Zverev consecutively is incredible. Again, there has been rather little media coverage on this. A player ranked outside the top 40 doing this should be talked about far more, but Bublik’s media attention remains surprisingly small.
Bublik has already showed that he has the big match mentality needed to take on the top players, and will no doubt relish his next meetings with them. His win against Zverev came Wednesday in Rotterdam, which he completed comfortably in straight sets (7-5 6-3). An impressive victory and his best to date so far–setting up an enticing encounter with Tommy Paul in the Round of 16. Bublik will be entering this match high on confidence, especially with the potential of reaching the quarterfinals.
Expect to see a great deal more from this exquisite youngster as he continues his climb up the rankings. Perhaps when he cracks the Top 30 we will see more attention turn towards him, but this should already be the case. If you’re yet to see what Alexander Bublik is about, then find some clips of him and tune into his matches. You will not be disappointed.
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