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Bublik beats French teenager Fils in European Open final for third career title

Alexander Bublik Alexander Bublik - Getty Images

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Third-seeded Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan won his third career title by beating French teenager Arthur Fils 6-4, 6-4 in the European Open final on Sunday.

Bublik saved all three break points he faced and hit 28 winners to 18 for Fils.

“When we won the second title with my coach, I said: ‘Maybe that’s it, maybe I will never win one more.’ It was the greatest feeling ever. So, being here again, winning another title, it (means) the world for me,” Bublik said on court.

Bublik won his first title in Montpellier, France, in 2022 and his second in Halle, Germany earlier this year.

In their first meeting, Bublik capitalized on a couple of unforced errors by the fourth-seeded Fils to break for a 3-2 lead. He saved a break point in the eighth game with a forehand winner before concluding the opening set with an ace.

Fils had a poor start to the second set, dropping serve by sending a forehand into the net. Out of frustration, Fils smashed his racket into the ground. Bublik saved two break points at 3-2 with an ace and a service winner. Fils saved two match points, but Bublik converted the third with his 11th ace.

Bublik was going through a poor run of form before this tournament, losing five straight matches on hard court.

The 19-year-old Fils was the youngest finalist in the tournament’s history.


AP tennis: