Qualifier Alexander Bublik, ranked No. 207 in the world, pulled off the biggest upset of Day 1 on the men’s side of the draw at the Australian Open Monday afternoon. The 19-year-old Russian, now playing for Kazakhstan since November, thoroughly took it to No. 16 seed Lucas Pouille 6-0, 3-6, 6-3. 6-4 in one hour and 43 minutes. Bublik struck quick before Pouille even knew what hit him, bageling the Frenchman in the opening set in just 18 minutes and winning 26 of the first 36 points. It was mostly downhill for Pouille from there. The 6-foot-4 Kazakh’s power and aggression stunned the Frenchman from the get-go and he never quite recovered. Pouille, ranked No. 16 in the world, has now lost in the first round all four times he’s played at Melbourne. The 22-year-old Frenchman was voted the ATP Most Improved Player of the Year in 2016 by the players. He won his maiden ATP Tour title at Metz in September, three weeks after knocking out Rafael Nadal in the fourth round at the U.S. Open, and has continued to climb up the ladder since then. Bublik pounded 16 aces and won 86 percent of his first service points, while hitting 38 winners. The youngster saved three of six break points. Pouille served six aces, hit 20 winners and saved four of 11 break points. Next up for Bublik, who had to win three qualifying matches to reach the main draw, is Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri.
Bublik Stuns Pouille in First Round Upset at Australian Open
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