Monaco, April 11: Russian-born Kazakh professional tennis player Alexander Bublik assured it would not be a winning comeback for Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka at the Monte Carlo Masters, defeating the 2014 champion 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to reach the second round. round here. Monday.
Former World No. 3 Wawrinka was competing in his first tour-level match in 13 months and showed little sign of rust over long periods as he smashed through forehands and hit his trademark backhand with great depth and spin.
However, the 37-year-old was unable to maintain his best level as the match wore on, with World No. 36 Bublik causing Wawrinka trouble with his powerful serving and variety of shots as he took the wild card around the court to claim his first victory in the event in two hours and five minutes.
With this win, Bublik now leads Wawrinka 1-0 in their ATP series and will then face 13th seed Pablo Carreno Busta or Argentine qualifier Sebastian Baez in the second round.
Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman showed his fighting spirit by beating Karen Khachanov 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-3 to improve to 10-3 on the clay season.
The 12th seed, who advanced to the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo in 2017, reached the finals in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro in February. The 29-year-old will face Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics in the second round.
For his part, Australian Alex de Minaur eliminated Spanish qualifier Bernabe Zapata Miralles 6-3, 6-4 in 83 minutes. World No. 25 De Minaur is making his second appearance at the clay-court event, having dropped in the first round in 2021.