UTS, underarm serves, Sascha: Everything you wanted to know about Alexander Bublik (but never had the time to find out) – updated ahead of UTS Oslo

Alexander Bublik has won 2 ATP singles titles and is a crowd favourite wherever he plays. Here are the answers to common questions you might have about the Kazakh

Alexander_Bublik-Saint-Pétersbourg_2020 Alexander_Bublik-Saint-Pétersbourg_2020 Crédit : AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Who is Alexander Bublik?

Alexander Bublik is a professional tennis player who competes on the ATP Tour, representing Kazakhstan.

Does Alexander Bublik play UTS?

Yes, Alexander Bublik plays UTS under the nickname “The Bublik Enemy”. He has participated at three UTS events so far, playing at UTS4, UTS Los Angeles and most recently at the UTS Grand Final in London.

The Kazakh lost all three of his group-stage matches at the UTS Grand Final to finish bottom of his group and miss out on a spot in the Final Four. The Bublik Enemy pushed all three of his opponents, however, going down 3-2 to Holger “The Viking Rune, 3-1 to Jack “The Power” Draper and 3-1 to Gael “La Monf” Monfils.

While Bublik is yet to move beyond the group stage in UTS, he has been known for his outrageous behaviour on-court and brilliant shot-making. He will next be playing UTS in Oslo, from 9 to 11 February.

What happened to Alexander Bublik at the 2024 Australian Open?

Seeded 31st, Alexander Bublik lost in the first round of the 2024 Australian Open to India’s Sumit Nagal, 6-4, 6-2, 7-6 (5).

What did Alexander Bublik do in Antwerp?

Bublik made an excellent run at the 2023 ATP 250 European Open in Antwerp, winning his second title of the season and third career title.

In the final, he faced 19-year-old Arthur Fils, who he defeated 6-4, 6-4, thanks to some strong serving which saw Bublik win 36 of 37 first serve points.

En route to the final, No 3 seed Bublik defeated Gregoire Barrere 6-4, 6-2, Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 and Maximilian Marterer 6-4, 6-4. While this was the second ATP Tour title that the 26-year-old has claimed in 2023, he admitted in an on court interview to having a very relaxed approach in Antwerp, revealing that he was playing FIFA until 3am with his coach the night before his semi-final clash.

Which nation does Bublik represent?

Alexander Bublik was born on June 17, 1997, in Gatchina, Russia but plays under the Kazakhstan flag. In November 2016, Bublik announced he would change his citizenship from Russia to Kazakhstan after receiving support from the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation that the Russian federation did not provide.

Aleksandr Bublik volley
Image Credit: Proshots / Panoramic

Why did he decide to represent Kazakhstan?

In November 2016, the year he turned professional, Alexander Bublik chose to represent Kazakhstan. Several other Russian-born players have also made this decision: Yulia Putintseva, Yaroslava Shvedova, Mikhail Kukushkin and Elena Rybakina. Bublik didn’t hide from the reasons; it was for financial reasons to facilitate his career start.

“I have been Russian all my life, but they (the Federation) never supported me,” he explained, while his family was financially unable to help him in any significant way. “I was always the second, third or fourth choice. So I thought, ‘Why should I play for them?’ For example, they helped others financially, but not me. But it’s not just about money, it’s also about encouragement. They would give everything to the guy who was number one and nothing to number three. I had a proposal (to represent Kazakhstan), and I accepted it. But I have the map of St. Petersburg tattooed on my arm.”

How many ATP titles has Alexander Bublik won?

After losing in four finals, Bublik beat world No 3 Alexander Zverev to win his first Tour title in Montpellier in February, 2022.

In 2023, the Kazakh won his second ATP singles title after beating Andrey Rublev in the final of the Halle Open on grass. He then added a third title to his name, claiming the European Open in Antwerp.

In 2024, Bublik then won his fourth ATP title, beating Borna Coric in the Montpellier Open final to win the tournament for a second time.

What is his best performance at the Grand Slams?

Bublik reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time at Wimbledon in 2023. The Kazakh lost a five-set thriller to Rublev in the last 16.

Prior to this, he had been to the third round at Wimbledon on two occasions (2021 and 2022) and at the US Open once (in 2019). The Kazakh has reached the second round at the Australian Open and Roland-Garros on multiple occasions.

Has Alexander Bublik played UTS?

Yes, Bublik took part in UTS4, the fourth edition of the UTS, held at the Mouratoglou Tennis Academy in 2021. Nicknamed “The Bublik Enemy,” the wildly creative Kazakh delighted the crowds with his flair and humour, as well as his trademark booming serve and famous underarm serve.

Bublik also took part in UTS5, held in Los Angeles between 21st and 23rd July, 2023. The Bublik Enemy last played at UTS in the Grand Final in London, in December, 2023.

The Kazakh lost all three of his group-stage matches at the UTS Grand Final to finish bottom of his group and miss out on a spot in the Final Four. The Bublik Enemy pushed all three of his opponents, however, going down 3-2 to Holger “The Viking Rune, 3-1 to Jack “The Power” Draper and 3-1 to Gael “La Monf” Monfils.

Does Alexander Bublik hate clay?

Bublik is not a fan of the red dirt and has made his feelings quite clear. The Kazakh hit the headlines during the 2022 Monte-Carlo Masters after pulling out of his second-round match late in the third set without any explanation or asking for the trainer.

The Kazakh, who beat Stan Wawrinka in the first round, was playing Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta. He let a match point slip at 6-4, 5-4 before the Spaniard fought back to force a decider. Trailing 6-4, 6-7(3), 3-4, Bublik decided to stop the match without asking for any medical time out.

After his win over Wawrinka, Bublik had spoken about how he absolutely detests playing on clay.

“I wish the clay (season) would end soon and I would be going over to grass. That’s all I can say. Nothing about the match, nothing about the performance because there was no match from my side, you could see that. I hate clay. It’s the statement, guys— I hate this surface.”

How tall is he?

According to the official ATP website, Alexander Bublik is 1.96m or 6ft 5 inches tall.

What is Alexander Bublik’s nickname?

Like many people of Russian origin named “Alexander”, Bublik is nicknamed “Sascha”, just like German tennis player Alexander Zverev.

Who is Alexander Bublik’s coach?

Since he was four years old, Alexander Bublik has been trained by his father Stanislas. Artem Suprunov is also mentioned as a co-coach on the ATP website. Born in 1994, the latter played a few ITF tournaments between 2012 and 2013.

What is Alexander Bublik’s style of play?

A very relaxed personality, even when, still unknown at the age of 19, Bublik had to challenge the biggest stars of the circuit. A fan of underarm serves, trick shots, powerful strikes and other second ball missiles, he is often compared to Nick Kyrgios. Except that the Kazakh always has a smile up to his ears after his mischief.

“He reminds me a little of me”, Kyrgios said after his victory over Bublik, then ranked 121st in the world, in Miami in 2019. “I think imitation is the best compliment, so I guess he must like me. He has a high-risk game, even in important moments. He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Big hits, bunt, lots of instinct… He’s very talented.”

How much prize money has he won in his career?

According to the official ATP website, Alexander Bublik has won $5,895 in prize money, as of December 10, 2023.

What is Bublik’s highest ranking?

Bublik’s highest ranking has been No 25, which he achieved on July 31, 2023. You can find his current ranking and rankings history on his ATP Tour profile page.

What kind of music does he listen to?

Alexander Bublik is a rap fan. Among his many tattoos, two are quotes from Eminem’s songs:

“You won’t break me, you just make me stronger than I was.”
“Always be a leader and not a follower.”

Is Bublik active on social networks?

Alexander Bublik is present on social networks. On Instagram, he is followed by almost 200,000 followers. He has no Facebook or Twitter accounts.

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