Bublik Enemy crushes Mahut to earn consolation UTS4 win
Alexander Bublik picked up a consolation win at UTS4 on Tuesday with a 3-0 win over veteran Frenchman Nicolas Mahut
UTS4 – Group A
Bublik beats Mahut – 13-12, 17-13, 21-11
- What happened: Alexander Bublik beat stand-in Nicolas Mahut 3-0 for his first UTS4 win.
- You will also learn: Kazakh too good for Le Mousquetaire, a late replacement for the injured Grigor Dimitrov.
- Why you should read this article: Bublik would like to see a special rule change brought in for UTS5.
Beaten by Cristian Garin and also by Diego Schwartzman in his first two matches, the Kazakh turned on the style from the start to finish third in Group A.
“It’s cool,” he said. “I didn’t want to go 0-3, otherwise Patrick (Mouratoglou, the organiser) would not invite me back again. “I tried to make the most of this match and I was lucky enough to win it.”
Mahut pegged back in opener
But the Frenchman was sharp early on, racing into a 7-4 lead only to be pegged back by Bublik, who levelled at 11-11 and then came up with a big backhand return to open up a two-point lead at 13-11.
With just five seconds on the clock, Bublik then took any risk out of the equation when he sent up a sky-high lob that took so long to land that there was no time for Mahut to recover.
Bublik turns on the style
The second quarter began with Bublik turning on the style, winning the first five points with his own unique brand of drop shots, big serves – despite the one-serve rule – and powerful groundstrokes.
Mahut showed there is still plenty of speed left in his 39-year-old legs, chasing down a drop shot and threading a lovely forehand flick past the Kazakh’s outstretched racquet.
But Bublik pulled clear again and ran out a comfortable winner of the second quarter.
— Tennis Majors (@Tennis_Majors) May 25, 2021
No coming back for Le Mousquetaire
Mahut had a mountain to climb to get back into the match but he stayed with Bublik at the start of the third quarter, matching him to 6-6.
Slowly and surely, Bublik took control once again, though, using his serve +1 serve perfectly with two massive serves at 10-8 to go four shots clear.
With 1.15 minutes on the clock, and a four-point gap at 15-11, there was still a chance for Mahut but a brilliant backhand pass by Bublik ended his chances and he ran out a convincing winner to grab a consolation victory.
Bublik said he would like to return to UTS in the future, but wants to see a couple of further rule changes.
“I think it should be three serves and UTS on grass,” he said. “I’d bring Reilly (Opelka), Taylor (Fritz) and John (Isner), we’d walk side to side for 30 minutes and it would be beautiful.”