Alexander Bublik is one of the most entertaining players on the ATP Tour, from his shotmaking ability to his underarm serves. Although fans might remember the Kazakhstani’s trickery most, he has more aces than anyone so far with 576 entering this week’s Citi Open.
“It’s a cool stat. Leading in aces after almost eight months is great,” Bublik said. “It means I can serve. It means I can hit dingers.”
Before the ninth seed begins his run in Washington, ATPTour.com caught up with Bublik about what his life is like on Tour, his favourite vacation spots, and why he tries to focus on anything but tennis once off the court.
Bublik: Go Big Or Go Home
What are two essential non-tennis items you always pack for trips?
It’s my wedding ring and my watch. I buy and sell. I bought my first [watch] in 2017. Since then I’ve had many. I’m a big watch enthusiast. I love watches, I love buying them and selling them. I love all these kinds of things. At the moment I have maybe four or five watches, but I’ve had many more.
Do you enjoy travelling the world or consider it just something that needs to be done to be a pro tennis player? If you do enjoy it, what do you enjoy about travelling?
I don’t like travelling at all to be honest with you. I’m not a big fan of packing, flying and changing time zones, but I treat it like a part of work. I don’t like it. I was happy to stay home for six months. I was very happy, it was really good for me. I would stay another six months at home if that would be necessary. For me travelling is just a part of my job to make a living.
How do you try to overcome jetlag and acclimate to the local time zone?
It’s not tough for me. I do well for the time zones, but I just don’t like travelling. I would be happy to travel from my home to the Alps and back with the car, five or six hours. I’m not a guy who would go to the Maldives, a 15-hour-trip to lay under the sun for 15 days.
In that case, where is your favourite vacation destination?
The French Alps, Swiss Alps, ski resorts. Something that is not mainstream and you don’t see hundreds of tennis players and athletes there. Something that is a bit interesting to walk around, see nature.
I go to the mountains, I enjoy nature. Of course there is a great hotel, but [I like] walking around. I can’t ski or snowboard unfortunately, but I love nature. It’s great to recharge, put away your phone. I think for me the best places are these cold resorts with skiing or in the Swiss Alps.
Watch Bublik Tour The Newport Grounds:
What is your favourite tournament city to visit and why?
The ATP hosts the tournaments in very good locations, so usually it’s always in good cities. There are some cities I don’t like [because of] the weather or conditions or other things, but overall 95 per cent of tournaments held by the ATP are held in great spots. We have great hotels [too].
As a tennis player, maintaining your body is of the utmost importance, so how do you take care of it during long trips?
Sleep well, and a couple of glasses of wine never hurt. I try not to stick to the tennis player thing, always taking care of yourself, taking care of your body, taking care of your tennis. When you travel, you should try to be a normal person and do whatever a normal person would do on a 14-hour flight.
Are there any routines or activities you do to create a sense of ‘home on the road’ to feel more comfortable?
I travel with my wife, my coach — who is my good friend — and a fitness trainer and we try not to talk about tennis. We try not to think about tennis at all when we are outside the tennis courts. Just live a normal life.
I don’t treat myself as a tennis player when I am outside. I probably should in order to perform better as they say. But for me, the most important thing is to feel happy and feel comfortable on the Tour. I try to put aside the tennis life when I am away from the tennis courts.