No. 1 seed Alexander Bublik was happy that he managed to survive a tight clash against "great server" Ivo Karlovic. Bublik, who had a first round bye in Newport, beat Karlovic 7-6 (5) 4-6 6-1 to reach the Newport quarterfinal.
Bublik, who is enjoying a career-high ranking of No. 37 in the world, is having his Newport debut. “Ivo is a great player and there is not much to say about this match other than it was server versus server,” Bublik said.
“In the first set, I got a bit lucky and he gave me two double faults, in the second set I gave him [four] and he gave up five in the third. I’m happy to get through and I’m happy to be in the quarter-finals”.
Bublik dominated the decider
Bublik had the first break points of the match but Karlovic saved two break points in the third game to take a 2-1 lead. As no more break points were seen in the first set, the set had to be resolved in a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Karlovic led 5-4 before Bublik won three points in a row to win the first set. After losing the first set, Karlovic had a solid chance to start the second set with a break but Bublik saved a break point in the first game of the set.
In the seventh game of the second set, Karlovic earned his first break of the match and in the 10th game he served out for the set. After the opening two games of the second set, the two players were all tied at one game apiece.
In the fourth game of the third set, Karlovic paid the price for failing to convert a break point as Bublik broke to take a 3-1 lead. Two games later, Bublik broke Karlovic to love and served out for the match in the seventh game.
Bublik plays next against Jason Jung, who beat Tennys Sandgren in straight sets. It remains to be seen if Bublik can make it all the way in his Newport debut.