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Bublik stuns Zverev to win Montpellier for first ATP title

The 24-year-old completed the perfect week as he broke his duck on the ATP Tour at the fifth time of asking

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Alexander Bublik won the first ATP Tour title of his career on Sunday when he stunned world No 3 Alexander Zverev 6-4, 6-3 to win the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

The 24-year-old from Kazakhstan, who had lost all four of his previous finals, including two in 2021, upset the odds to win the title, a victory that will lift him to a career-high No 31 when the rankings are updated on Monday.

Zverev went into the final as the big favourite but Bublik had won their only previous meeting, in Rotterdam last year. And the Kazakh, whose temper can be as wild as his tennis, played beautifully throughout.

He won 25 of 29 points on first serve, hit eight aces and one second serve at 223kph (138mph), while his drop shot, always one of his best weapons, worked perfectly, keeping Zverev off-balance throughout.

Bublik broke twice in each set to clinch a huge victory, finishing things off with another perfect drop shot.

Zverev, who had looked back to his best after going out in the fourth round of the Australian Open, was honest in his appraisal of his own performance but also praised Bublik.

“I haven’t played well – there’s no secret – but he didn’t give me any rhythm,” Zverev said. “He was smart, every long point we started, he tried to go for a winner or tried to go for a dropshot. I didn’t have the chance to get into the match, he did well in this regard.”

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