Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik was in great spirits after stunning Portuguese world No. 39 Joao Sousa in the opening rubber of the Davis Cup qualifying round tie between Kazakhstan and Portugal. The 21-year-old came from a set down to beat the three-time ATP champion in his Davis Cup debut 6-7 (1) 6-4 6-4.
Bublik, ranked at No. 171 in the world, won the opening point of the first-set tie-break but then lost seven points in a row as Sousa claimed a tight opener. However, the 21-year-old kept his focus and composure as he broke the Portuguese once in each of the following two sets to make a big comeback.
Bublik broke Sousa in the seventh game of the second set before he served out for the set in the 10th game. The 21-year-old then broke the Portuguese in the opening game of the decider and held on to his serve to earn a big win.
Bublik had a great day on his serve as he fired 25 aces and won 81 per cent of his first serve points. The 21-year-old converted just 2-of-9 of his break point chances but saved all 4-of-4 of Sousa's break point opportunities in two hours and 22 minutes of play.
'Of course, I'm very proud for my win. He's a great player to play against in my debut for this Cup," Bublik said post-match, per Davis Cup Twitter. Kazakhstan have a commanding lead after the opening day as Mikhail Kukushkin beat Pedro Sousa in the following rubber to give the hosts a 2-0 lead over Portugal.
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