Lorenzo Sonego vs Alexander Bublik: 3 Keys to the Match

Lorenzo Sonego in action at the ATP Metz Open.

Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego beat seventh seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-6 6-2 to win the Moselle Open on Sunday. It was the 27-year-old Italian’s third career ATP title and his first on a hard court, with his success this week desperately needed after a miserable season. Bublik put in a valiant effort in the first set, but rather threw in the towel in the second as the Italian cruised to a victory. But what were the keys to the match?

1. Sonego and Bublik enjoyed a good battle in the first set

There was nothing to choose between the two players in the first set. Bublik had the more powerful serve and groundstrokes, but it was Sonego who kept playing the angles better. Moreover, the Italian enjoyed considerable success in pushing Bublik into his forehand corner before hitting his own forehand down-the-line. Sonego also played drop shots quite frequently to drag the Kazakh into the net. There were no breaks in the first set as it went into a tiebreak. Sonego showed better composure during key moments to win the tiebreak comfortably and draw first blood.

2. Bublik misses key volleys

Bublik approached the net more frequently than his opponent did, but also missed a few important volleys, including one in the first set tiebreak. He was especially erratic while hitting the backhand volleys and Sonego took full advantage of it. The errors continued in the second set as well, as Bublik gifted a few points to his opponent. The Italian got the first break of the match in the third game of the set and then held his serve to go 3-1 ahead.

3. Sonego runs away with the second set

Bublik suffered from a lapse of concentration (and a lack of effort) in the second set, trying a few trick shots instead of putting the ball away for a straightforward winner even when down break point. Sonego, meanwhile, remained solid and kept capitalizing on Bublik’s follies. Sonego broke the Kazakh again to win five consecutive games in the second set and then held on to register a convincing win. Sonego won an impressive 82% of the points on his first serve, while Bublik managed only 65%, which ultimately made the difference.

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