Russian-born player infuriates tennis crowd with mid-match antics (VIDEO)
Alexander Bublik was booed by Moselle Open fans when he failed to pull off the stunt in the final
Tennis world number 41 Alexander Bublik was booed by fans at the Moselle Open on Sunday after trying to land a trick shot in the final.
The 25-year-old, born in Russia but representing Kazakhstan since 2016, was facing Lorenzo Sonego in Metz in a bid to claim his second career ATP title after claiming success at the Open Sud de France in February.
Already one set and trailing the second set 1-3, Bublik decided not to crush an easy winner at home and saved a break point after being trapped when Sonego returned his serve.
Instead, Bublik flipped his racquet, grabbed it by the frame and played a shot with the handle, which ultimately gave Sonego the point and a 4-1 lead in the second. set.
« No, no way, » the match commentator said in shock as Bublik prepared for the stunt.
“What is he thinking, Alexander Bublik? asked the commentator, as boos from the crowd echoed around the Arena of Metz.
Bublik goes into exhibition mode 👀@MoselleOpen pic.twitter.com/AdSbA7WFE2
– Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 25, 2022
« Yeah, no wonder the boos are coming, » he added. « It’s a final of an ATP-250 event. »
“He has one breakdown, now he has two. It unravels quickly. Scandalous. What is happening here? I can’t believe he did that.
Unfazed by the response, a nonchalant Bublik laughs to himself as he sits down before a change of sides.
« I can’t believe what Alexander Bublik just did in an ATP Finals, »tweeted a popular tennis journalist. « I mean, it’s not even fun. »
Bublik’s collapse helped Sonego win the match 7-6, 6-2 and slip into the ATP top 50 after claiming the third title of his career.
Sonego declined to criticize his opponent for his antics and noted that he is « Really difficult » play against Bublik – whom he described as a « amazing player with amazing serve » and one « good talent. »
Known for his Grand Slam struggles and third-round failure, Bublik and his reputation suffered a blow after an impressive Open Sud de France win over former world number two Alexander Zverev in the final in February.
Moving to Kazakh citizenship in November 2016, Bublik can try to improve on his poor showing at the Australian Open majors early next year and a run to the men’s doubles semi-finals there in 2020 alongside Mikhail Kukushkin.
Bublik has often spoken of his dislike of professional tennis, stating in 2020:« I hate tennis with all my heart and I only play for the money. »