PARIS (AFP) – Alexander Bublik stunned top seed and Olympic champion Alexander Zverev to win his maiden ATP title in Montpellier on Sunday.
The 24-year-old Russian-born Kazakh triumphed over the world number three from Germany, 6-4, 6-3.
Bublik’s win also assures him a new career-high ranking yesterday from his current 35.
Before Sunday, the eccentric Bublik had lost all four of his previous ATP finals in Newport and Chengdu in 2019, and Singapore and Antalya last year.
He now heads for the Rotterdam tournament next week where he has a first-round clash against former world number one and three-time major champion Andy Murray.
“I had four finals and the fifth final I have won against a great player like ‘Sascha’,” said Bublik who had also defeated Zverev in Rotterdam last year.
“It’s great. All my game together. I was serving well and returned well and kept my nerve. I was lucky in the moments and when I had my chances I used them.”
Zverev had taken a late wildcard into the Montpellier event following a disappointing fourth-round exit at the Australian Open last month.