ATP Hamburg: Alexander Bublik tops Felix Auger-Aliassime. Stefanos Tsitsipas advances



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ATP Hamburg: Alexander Bublik tops Felix Auger-Aliassime. Stefanos Tsitsipas advances

After an early exit in Rome, the 2nd seed Stefanos Tsitsipas is off to a winning start in Hamburg, beating Daniel Evans 6-3, 6-1 in 59 minutes. The Greek lost 14 points in eight service games, fending off the only break point and securing four breaks to control the scoreboard and race into the second round.

Stefanos had 24 winners and 12 unforced errors, reducing Evans to only six winners and rattling off the final six games to move over the top. Delivering five commanding holds in the opening set, Stefanos forced an error from Daniel in the fourth game to open a 3-1 lead, cementing the advantage with a service winner and landing a volley winner at 5-3 to secure the opener in 30 minutes.

Tsitsipas saved a break point in the second game of the second set and never looked back, firing a forehand winner to move 2-1 in front. The Greek landed an ace down the T line for a 3-1 advantage, delivering breaks in games five and seven to race over the finish line.

A lucky loser Alexander Bublik ousted Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 18 minutes, advancing into the second quarter-final of the season and the first at the ATP 500 level. A player from Kazakhstan saved five out of six break chances, hitting 19 winners and 18 errors to tame his strokes nicely and secure the triumph with four breaks of serve.

Felix made a strong start, taking 12 of the first 14 points and earning a break at love in game two with a forehand winner. Alexander held at love with a service winner in game four and pulled the break back with a backhand down the line winner, reducing the deficit and getting back to the right side of the scoreboard.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is through in Hamburg, unlike Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Bublik saved a break point in the eighth game and seized the third break chance in the next one to open a 5-4 gap. Serving for the set, the Kazakh fended off four break points and closed the set after forcing an error from Auger-Aliassime for a 6-4.

It was all about Bublik in set number two, dropping four points behind the initial shot and delivering two breaks to move over the top. He stole Felix's serve at 15 in the first game and opened a 5-2 gap when the Canadian hit a double fault in game seven.

Serving for the win, Bublik fired three winners for a 6-2, carving his way into the quarter-final. After all kinds of controversies with the coronavirus tests, Benoit Paire retired in the second set against the Rome semi-finalist Casper Ruud to propel the Norwegian into the second round.