Challenger Q&A: Bublik Reacts To Winning In Aptos
Kazakhstan's #NextGenATP star Alexander Bublik is soaring towards the Top 100 of the Emirates ATP Rankings, after claiming his second ATP Challenger Tour title at the Nordic Naturals Challenger in Aptos, California. Bublik lifted the trophy on Sunday with a strong 6-2, 6-3 victory over Liam Broady. He now sits at a career-high No. 104 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, climbing 21 spots.
Bublik's win marks the 12th time a player from the #NextGenATP contingent has won on the Challenger circuit this year. He previously prevailed on the hard courts of Morelos, Mexico, in February.
You had some difficult losses the last couple weeks in Binghamton and Lexington. What was your mindset coming into Aptos?
It was a rough couple weeks for me. I lost to Christian Harrison and Dominik Koepfer. I had some struggles with my team a little bit. We decided to just enjoy it and work a little harder on improving my tennis. It just worked.
You had a tough first round match-up with Mitchell Krueger and you looked incredibly focused from then on. What was the key to your week here in Aptos?
The confidence came when I started playing more serious tennis on the court. Less jokes. The first match against Mitchell gave me a lot of confidence. He's a great player and it was a tough match. I was down in the third set and found my way back. I was just really focused and it gave me confidence.
The 6-1, 6-1 win over Henri Laaksonen was a big one. He had that one shank miss in his first service game and from there you cruised. How are you finding yourself in those moments against Top 100 players?
I just need to be confident and focus on my game. I don't really look at the rankings for who I'm playing. Outside the top guys, like Andy or Roger, who you're watching more often, I don't see much of a difference. I just try to win whenever I step on court.
In the final, you had two championship points and decided to go pretty big with your serve, double faulted, and came back with an ace on your third to take it. What was your thinking as you tried to close it out?
I struggled a bit there. I was thinking 'ok, let's put the first serve in'. I missed. 'Ok, let's put the second serve in'. I missed again. I made three double faults in a row. Then I just tried to put the serve in again and I made an ace and then another ace on match point. I was a little nervous in the end.
What does this win bring you going into the US Open qualies? You're right on the cusp of the Top 100.
Yeah, I'm feeling great, especially since I'm very close to the Top 100. It's a great feeling. I just need to continue working hard and try to keep improving.