Alexander Bublik broke new ground Sunday as he clinched his maiden tour-level title at the Open Sud de France.
The 24-year-old, who was competing in his fifth tour-level final, upset World No. 3 Alexander Zverev to earn the biggest win of his career. The sixth seed in Montpellier also overcame Tallon Griekspoor, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Roberto Bautista Agut and Filip Krajinovic at the ATP 250 event.
ATPTour.com sat down with the World No. 35 right after he clinched his first trophy in Montpellier to find out more about the significance of this milestone achievement for Bublik.
What does it mean to you to win your first ATP Tour title?
It means I had a good week, that’s what it means to me.
You’re currently No. 35 in the ATP Rankings and set to rise to a career-high on Monday. How happy are you with where your game is at the moment?
Of course, I’m happy with my game. I’m not sure which ranking I will be in after the win, I never check, but I guess it will be better than 35. I’m happy with the way I played and the way I practiced, so I’m pretty happy.
You had reached four tour-level finals before your run here but had never managed to win a title. How important were those previous experiences in helping you triumph in Montpellier?
Obviously, I had four finals…one I was not able to play against [Alex] de Minaur, last year in Antalya because I injured myself in the semi-finals. The more experience you have, the easier it is to handle. Of course, four finals gave me a little boost to say, “Whatever is going to happen, I’m fine with it,” that’s how I approached this match.
Could you take a moment to acknowledge some of the key figures in your life and career that helped you to reach this milestone?
I had obviously my family, my coach Artem, my wife, my mum…my family was always there. The Kazakh federation helped me throughout my career, big thanks to them as well.
How did you start playing tennis? What are some of your early memories playing the sport?
My father was my coach until 2019, so since I was a little kid until 2019 he was my coach. I have memories like all the other players, playing some junior tournaments, crying after matches, some frustration, but that’s part of life.
You’re entertaining and dynamic to watch on court, how would you describe yourself off the court?
I’m more laid back, I take life easy, I have a philosophical way of living. Same on the court! You guys are just watching me when I hit the balls and play some electric shots, which is part of my game but not part of my life I would say.
Sometimes when there is a big comedian, they are so sad in life…I’m not sad, but there is a difference between Alexander Bublik on the court and Alexander Bublik off the court.
What do you consider to be your biggest passions outside of tennis and can you tell us a little bit about those interests. I know you are a big fan of nature and exploring the French and Swiss Alps?
I like nature. We have a house in the woods by the lake in Russia. I like spending time by the lakes. I like to sleep, rest and do nothing. My plans for the future are to rest.
This is a milestone moment in your career. How will you celebrate this victory?
They have just got me a magnum of champagne, but I have a tournament coming up, so I have to take care of my body.