Alexander Bublik delivered a serving masterclass on Sunday to power to victory at the European Open.
The third-seeded Kazakhstani beat #NextGenATP Frenchman Arthur Fils 6-4, 6-4 in Antwerp to claim his second tour-level title of the season. Bublik clinched a decisive break of Fils' serve in each set and saved all three break points he faced to improve to 3-6 in ATP Tour finals.
“I was pretty much serving all match,” said Bublik in his on-court interview. “I told Arthur I was very lucky to beat him in a final before he becomes the next big thing. That was the only option I had, and I executed it well.”
The 26-year-old maintained his rhythm behind his delivery all week en route to the trophy. After dropping just one of 37 points behind first serve to propel himself to a 75-minute victory against Fils, Bublik lifted the trophy at the Belgian ATP 250 having won 136 of 148 points behind first serve across his run.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 22, 2023
Bublik also won a tour-level crown on indoor hard courts in Montpellier in 2022, while he added a grass-court ATP 500 trophy to his tally in June by winning in Halle. The Kazakhstani will rise six spots to No. 30 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings on Monday as a result of his Antwerp run, just five spots shy of his career-high.
“Honestly, when we won the second title, I [said to my coach], ‘Maybe that's it, maybe we will never win another one',” joked Bublik. “It was the greatest feeling ever, so being here again, winning another title, it means the world to me.”
Despite defeat, Fils remains an almost-certain qualifier for the season-ending Next Gen ATP Finals. The 19-year-old is fifth in the Pepperstone ATP Live Race To Jeddah, and is now within 207 points of Lorenzo Musetti in fourth.