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The Real Reason Why Bublik Returned to UTS in 2023

Few players on the ATP Tour are more mysterious than Kazakh-Russian player Alexander Bublik.

The 25-year-old has been on the Tour since 2016, and reached some great heights in this time. His career high ranking is World No.30, claiming one title in Montpellier last year, and making four other finals.

And yet, Bublik remains one of the most mercurial players in today’s sport.

One minute he is crushing powerful serves, executing outrageously skilful trick shots and outplaying opponents; the next, he’s sending underarm serves crashing into the net, floundering around the court and looking like he’s more interested in what’s for dinner.

So, when the announcement was made recently that Alexander Bublik will be returning to UTS 5 in Los Angeles this July, the natural question is: Why?

Bublik Opens Up About UTS Motivation

When queried on his reasoning for accepting an invitation to the UTS Los Angeles event, the Kazakh had this to say:

“Well, it was too good to say no. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity to compete again at such a different event compared to the regular tennis we used to see,” said Bublik.

Bublik went on to explain, “I love traditional tennis, but I think we should have a room for creation, and room for emotion.”

Alexander Bublik, Montpellier 2022
Alexander Bublik, Montpellier 2022 – © JB Autissier / Panoramic

For Bublik, he’s often struggled to fit into the mould of traditional tennis. With a play style that is widely known as capricious or mercurial, opponents never know what they’re going to get when they step on court with the 25-year-old. Naturally, when offered an opportunity to compete in a format slightly more tailored to his own preferences, Bublik jumped at the chance.

“I couldn’t say no to the idea not to be back.”

Emotion at the Heart of Bublik’s Tennis

Speaking into his relationship with tennis overall, Bublik explained that he believes players should be allowed to express more emotion.

“I want me personally, I want to be able to express myself more and to be more.” Bublik elaborated. “I mean, there’s a lot of stuff we can’t do in a traditional court.”

With traditional tennis bringing more restriction, and crowds largely disapproving of outbursts on court, UTS seeks to flip that script. Players and crowds alike are encouraged to be vocal, with a more relaxed code of conduct and an interactive experience between players, coaches, and spectators.

Speaking about the UTS format, Bublik opened up:

“This court gives us this [freedom to express], and it’s awesome.”

“To be able to say things we want to say,” Bublik continued, “To have a conversation with a coach, crowd opponent, referee without being penalized for it every now and then. I think that it’s the freedom that we can do basically whatever we want to do, and still be professional tennis players and compete at the highest level of the game.”

Bublik Enemy, or Unsung Hero?

With the nickname “The Bublik Enemy,” there are some who don’t view Alexander Bublik so fondly in the tennis scene. However, the 25-year-old has admirable intentions with his UTS involvement.

“I want to bring this new way of playing tennis to the crowd, to the young generation,” Bublik declared. “As a well-known professional athlete, it’s part of our job.”

The former Top 30 player holds fond memories of his first UTS experience, explaining:

“For me it still is a great memory,” Bublik emphasized. “I think it’s an interesting field to play and to be part of it.”Fans can catch Bublik at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles, alongside other big names such as Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe. Tickets are available online for the 21 to 23 July event.

Players in this article

The Bublik Enemy

Alexander Bublik