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We should have more room: Bublik against stricter punishment for players

After winning his first round match at the Monte-Carlo Masters on Monday, Alexander Bublik says he is not in favour of ATP tightening the screws on players

Alexander Bublik at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2022 Alexander Bublik at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters 2022 Image Credit: Laurent Lairys / Panoramic

The issue of players on-court behaviour has been one of the biggest talking points during the first quarter of the 2022 season, with high-profile incidents involving world No 3 Alexander Zverev, Australian Open men’s doubles champion Nick Kyrgios and rising American youngster Jenson Brooksby sparking a major debate in tennis circles.

Many have criticized the lack of appropriate action taken by the ATP Tour, especially in the case of Zverev, who repeatedly used his racket to hit the umpire’s chair following his loss in Acapulco.

Match Points #38
Alexander Zverev flies off the handle in Acapulco, February 2022

While some have called for the ATP to become stricter with sanctions for players when they act out of line, Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik does not believe that players should be reprimanded so heavily when they express their frustration.

Speaking to the Tennis Channel in Monte-Carlo where he defeated three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka in the first round on Monday, Bublik cited the example of Kyrgios, who he says is good for the game.

“Nick brings tonnes of fans, what are they here for? This is sport, it’s supposed to be a bit of emotion and they try to put in some kind of a cage where we cannot talk. I am 24 and I see who brings attendances and fans to the game. Have you ever seen doubles fans? No. He brings doubles fans.“

“Sometimes he (Nick Kyrgios) does something not appropriate for tennis and they want to make a cage even tighter for us. I don’t think it’s good for sport, maybe if you are 65 and you come with your grandkids and they don’t want to hear bad words, but the reality is in America the stadiums were full. Australia they were filled, everywhere.“

Let us talk, don’t look at us every minute when we talk: Bublik

Following the incidents, the ATP Tour sent out a memo to players, saying that the Code of Conduct would be implemented more strictly going forward and that players could expect harsher punishments for misconduct on court.

But Bublik is clearly not in favour of such an approach. “For me I am not a fan of it, we should have more room. I think we need people who bring attendances. Of course you cannot do certain things and you need to be punished, but let us talk, don’t look at us every minute when we talk.”

Bublik, ranked No 36 in the world, will be back on the court on Wednesday when he takes on 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta in the second round of the Monte-Carlo Masters.

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