Rising star Alexander Bublik showed his class after claiming a big win in Marseille as he spoke highly of his opponent Denis Shapovalov. Bublik, ranked at No. 55 in the world, pulled off a surprise win over fourth-seeded Shapovalov 7-5 4-6 6-3 to reach the Marseille semifinal.
Bublik, 22, saved a total of four set points in the first set before he claimed the first break of the match in the 12th game to win a tight opener. Shapovalov, ranked at No. 15 in the world, finally realized his eighth break point to earn the lone break of the second set in the seventh game.
After losing the second set, Bublik got off to a quick 2-0 third set lead but it was short-lived as he got broken back in the third game. But the 22-year-old kept his focus as he earned his second break of the decider in the eighth game, before routinely serving out for the match in the following game.
"He’s a great player and server,” Bublik said of Shapovalov, per the ATP Tour. “It was our first match, but I’ve known him for a very long time. I was happy to break in the first set, then in the second set he was better, and I had my chances in the third and I held on.
So I’m very happy”. Bublik plays next against No. 2 seed and defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas.