In a clash of two of the ATP Tour’s most entertaining players, Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik beat Great Britain’s Daniel Evans 6-4, 6-4 on Monday in the first round of the National Bank Open Presented by Rogers.
Bublik, who has made finals in Antalya and Singapore this year, won 86 per cent of his first-serve points and converted three of his 10 break points to advance after one hour and 41 minutes.
“Obviously winning in straight sets is great. I kept my nerve after I lost the first break,” Bublik said in an on-court interview. “[I then] served better, maybe [got] a bit lucky in some points because Dan is a tricky player, he comes in so much. The key was to pass him in the right moment and I guess I did it well.”
The Nomadic Life With… Alexander Bublik
The World No. 39 will next play top seed Daniil Medvedev. The Russian star leads the Tour’s 2021 aces leader 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series, including a straight-sets victory at Roland Garros earlier this year.
The Croatian saved five of the seven break points he faced to advance after two hours and 13 minutes, setting a second-round clash against sixth seed Casper Ruud. The Norwegian star has won the past three tournaments he has played, lifting trophies in Bastad, Gstaad and Kitzbuhel.
Five-time National Bank Open Presented by Rogers champion Rafael Nadal learned his second-round opponent when South African Lloyd Harris eliminated Canadian qualifier Brayden Schnur 6-3, 6-2. Harris stunned Nadal at last week’s Citi Open in Washington.
In other action, Italian Fabio Fognini defeated German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-7(2), 6-2, 6-4 in a battle of strong baseliners. Fognini will next try to upset fourth seed Andrey Rublev, whom he leads 5-3 in their ATP Head2Head.