Alexander Bublik has achieved a very rare and unique feat as the Kazakh is the first player in ATP Tour history to win a title after dropping the opening set in each of his matches played en route to the title, via Jeu, Set et Maths.
Bublik, who was seeded at No. 2 in Montpellier, this past week lifted his fourth ATP title. On Sunday, Bublik didn't make a good start to the Montpellier final but worked his way back into the match and ended up winning the title after staging a 5-7 6-2 6-3 win over fourth-seeded Coric.
Before coming back to beat Coric in the final, Bublik registered three comeback wins earlier in the tournament. After a first-round bye, Bublik survived a real thriller against Denis Shapovalov in the Montpellier round-of-16 as he saved three match points before sealing a 1-6 7-6 (12) 6-3 win.
After earning a 4-6 6-3 6-4 comeback win over Alexander Shevchenko in the Montpellier quarterfinal, Bublik also completed a comeback in the semifinal to beat Felix Auger-Aliassime 4-6 6-4 6-4.
Somehow, Alexander Bublik becomes the first man this century to win a title coming from a set down in EVERY round:— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) February 4, 2024
R16 - d. Shapovalov 1-6 7-6 6-3
QF - d. Shevchenko 4-6 6-3 6-4
SF - d. Auger-Aliassime 4-6 6-4 6-4
F - d. Coric 5-7 6-2 6-3
As per @JeuSetMaths still, never in ATP Tour history! (since 1990)— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) February 4, 2024
How Bublik came back to beat Coric in the Montpellier final?
Against Coric, Bublik had a 4-1 lead and a chance to go up by a double break in the first set but missed out on two consecutive break points in the sixth game. Bublik then suffered a stunning collapse as he got broken in the seventh and 11th games and ended up losing the opener despite having a lead.
However, Bublik managed to bounce back at the start of the second set, breaking Coric in the fourth game. With Coric down 5-2 and serving to stay in the second set, Bublik broke the Croatian again to send the match into a decider.
After easily winning the second set, Bublik also started the third set with a break and a 3-0 lead. In the remainder of the set, Bublik saved a total of break points before serving out for the title in the ninth game.