Rublev’s prediction proves true but loses Halle Open to Bublik

(Photo by CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP via Getty Images) /

Andrey Rublev said after his semifinal win that the rallies would not be long against Alexander Bublik in the final. They weren’t at all. In fact, the three-set match was over in 1 hour and 40 minutes and the match went exactly as Bublik wanted and just as he had played for the whole tournament and he defeated Rublev 6-3 3-6 6-3.

Saying a player is in the proverbial zone is likely an overused phrase. But if there was ever an apt time to say it could apply to Alexander Bublik’s immense and impressive serve during the Terra Wortmann Open in Halle. Bublik bullied his opponents with his power, and then in the final, he added a bit of touch too.

Bublik is never going to be mistaken for Carlos Alcaraz. Alcaraz uses supreme shotmaking and hits at angles nearly inconceivable. Bublik just takes aim and fires. In the final against Rublev, Bublik had 41 winners with 21 of them being on his serve. Rublev had 20 winners which isn’t a bad number in itself, but in comparison to Bublik, it looks amateurish.

Alexander Bublik defeats Andrey Rublev for Terra Wortmann Open title

Bublik also had 21 aces, plus 12 double faults. At times he was so thoroughly dominating Rublev while also keeping Rublev in the match by almost overserving. But Rublev couldn’t overcome Bublik’s 91 percent first serve win percentage and could not take advantage of the chances – he had only four break-points – he had to break Bublik.

It’s actually a minor miracle that Rublev even won the second set. But with both players playing at such a fast pace and the points so short due to so many winners being hit, the match was played more at the speed of hockey than tennis.

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But with Alexander Bublik’s victory, he definitely should not be counted out as a true threat at Wimbledon. His game is tailor-made for grass and it’s shocking he hasn’t won more on the surface. But then he likely hasn’t had a week where so consistently placed his serve perfectly and so many forehands landed in. If Bublik plays Wimbledon as he did the Terra Wortmann Open, Bublik can defeat anyone he faces.