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UTS stars Rublev, Bublik light up Centre Court with enthralling five-setfourth round showdown

Andrey “Rublo’ Rublev and Alexander “The Bublik Enemy’ Bublik, two of the players who will compete in the UTS series this season, put on an enthralling show during their fourth round encounter at Wimbledon on Sunday, displaying some of the most electric tennis of the fortnight so far.

The two faced off in the final of the Halle event a couple of weeks ago which Bublik won. This time, it was Rublev who got off to the better start and won the first two sets 7-5, 6-3. However, the Kazakh, who is lined up for the UTS Los Angeles leg later this month, fought back with some of his eclectic shot making to win the next two sets in tiebreaks, saving two match points along the way, and took the match into a decider.

While the match went down to the wire, Rublev produced a “Shot of the year” candidate and one of the best seen on the Centre Court of the All England Club The Russian produced a diving forehand winner in response to a ripped backhand down the line from Bublik that seemed impossible for Rublev to get to, let alone hit back for a winner.

“All my life, I didn’t know how to dive”

“The feeling that at least I have one amazing point in my career (smiling).,” Rublev said after his 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-7(5), 6-4 win sent him into his first quarter-final at Wimbledon. “But the feeling is that obviously all my life I didn’t know how to dive. I was couple of times in the past years thinking, Oh, now on grass, at least try on practice, try without the ball to do it. I couldn’t. I was too scared. Then on the match against Goffin, I don’t know, somehow it comes natural. I did a real dive. Then today was this one, I don’t know, one-leg dive, something. I don’t know how you can call it. I don’t know how I make it. I didn’t even see the ball. I didn’t even see how I hit it. I didn’t even see how it went. I realize it after when the people start to scream and I see the face of Sascha, then I realize that I make it somehow.”

The Russian added that given the stakes and the score involved, the shot will go down as one of the highlights of his life. “At this score, final set, being on Centre Court at Wimbledon in front of all the crowd at this tight score in the end of the match, to make this shot, I don’t know how many times in a life you will have those moments. This moment for sure one of the highlights of my life.”

Watch out for some more electrifying tennis from Rublo and The Bublik Enemy at the UTS. The next UTS tournament will be played 21 to 23 July in Los Angeles with a cast that includes Gael Monfils (Le Monf), Nick Kyrgios (King Kyrgios), Taylor Fritz (The Hotshot), Frances Tiafoe (Big Foe), Ben Shelton (The Mountain), Yibing Wu (The Great Wall), Alexander Bublik (The Bublik Enemy) and Diego Schwartzman (El Peque).

Players in this article

The Bublik Enemy

Alexander Bublik


Andrey Rublev