Bublik Surges from a Set Down and Topples Coric in Montpellier Final
Borna Coric, Kamel Chibli, Alexander Bublik and tournament director Sebastien Grosjean during the trophy ceremony. February 4, 2024. Montpellier, France. Photo courtesy: Open Sud de France/Antoine Ludger.

Second seed Alexander Bublik rallied to beat Croatian Borna Coric at the Open Sud de France final on Sunday, becoming the first player to win a title on the tour after dropping the opening set in each of his matches in Montpellier.

Alexander Bublik needed to overcome a singular test this week to become a two-time champion at the ATP 250 tournament on Sunday.

On French soil, the Kazakhstani player recorded four straight comeback triumphs from a set down, eventually prevailing over fourth seed Borna Coric 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 after a two-hour, 18-minute championship match on Sunday.

After the edgy contest, Bublik outlined: “I was on the verge of losing in my opening round, now here I am standing with the title.”

I’ve seen all these great [former] champions out there, and my face is [among them] in the stadium [because of 2022]. Maybe if I continue playing like this, I will have more of my pictures here, so I’m really happy.

The four-time ATP titlist made a fast start, opening a solid 4-1 advantage, which Coric would destroy, making the difference with his return game performance, converting two of three break point opportunities he earned on his way to take the first set 7-5 in 57 minutes.

However, the 26-year-old held his nerve, applying pressure on his opponent from the off with his powerful serve, winning 100 percent on his first delivery.

Moreover, he did not face a lone break point through the second set, which he sealed 6-2 in just 35 minutes.

For his part, the World No. 37 fended off two of the four break points he faced but failed to find a way to halt a dominant adversary who went the distance to level up the encounter.

Playing aggressively, Bublik set the tone from the off, converting a clinical break in the second game of the decider, building upon his momentum to extend his lead to 3-0.

Meanwhile, the 2022 Cincinnati Masters champions rose his level, and despite facing break points on his serve, Bublik held onto his advantage to close out 6-3, finishing with 19 aces in his pocket.

The campaign that led the Adelaide International runner-up to win back the Open Sud de France crown featured victories over Canadian Denis Shapovalov, compatriot Alexander Shevchenko, third seed Felix-Auger Aliassime, and Coric.

After competing in his first final this season, Coric, 27, commented: “Obviously, I’m very sad about the final. It was a really good match. I enjoyed it, and it was a great fight.

I had my chances, but he was serving really big in all the big moments, and he was the better player today.”

Cecilia demartini
Sports Pundit staff writer @ceci_2812
Cecilia is a writer and journalist, passionate about motorsport and tennis.Her articles are published in newspapers and international online publications.

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