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Tennis News • Ricky’s Preview and Pick for the Antalya Final: De Minaur vs. Bublik

Alex de Minaur has won eight of nine sets this week en route to the Antalya final.

By Ricky Dimon

Alex de Minaur and Alexander Bublik will be going head-to-head for the first time in their careers when they battle for the Antalya Open title on Wednesday.

De Minaur is in the kind of dominant form that carried him to the second of three lifetime ATP titles two years ago in Atlanta, where he did not drop serve in the entire tournament. The 23rd-ranked Australian has been broken four times in Antalya (still an impressive number through four matches), but he is 8-1 in total sets and five of his eight set victories have been 6-2 or worse for his opponent. De Minaur punched his ticket to the final by beating Malek Jaziri, Adrian Andreev, Nikoloz Basilashvili, and David Goffin.

“I knew it was going to be a tough match, and I’d be under pressure when serving,” the 21-year-old said after getting the best of Goffin. “I had to reset and go back to my game plan and my strengths after I lost the second set. I won some tough rallies in the third set and that helped me out, for sure.”

Bublik is bidding for his first-ever ATP title. The world No. 49 is 0-2 in finals, having finished runner-up twice in 2019–to John Isner in Newport and Pablo Carreno Busta (in a third-set tiebreaker) in Chengdu. Bublik hopes the third time is the charm following wins this week at the expense of Salvatore Caruso, Tristan Lamasine, Matteo Berrettini, and Jeremy Chardy. Like de Minaur, the 23-year-old Kazakh rolled through three rounds in straight sets before requiring three sets in the semis.

“I got injured in the middle of the match and considered pulling out,” Bublik said after beating Chardy 6-4, 6-7(4), 6-3. “But I said to myself, ‘Okay, I will give it a try.’ I then served unbelievably–the best since Chengdu 2019. I served almost every serve full power and I was lucky to win the match.”

“[Bublik] can beat any player on any given day and he has lots of firepower,” de Minaur noted. “So I will need to rest and prepare well ahead of the final.”

It is true that Bublik’s firepower is such that he can compete with anyone when his serve is clicking. However, this is not a favorable matchup for him against an opponent who returns extremely well and gets tons of balls back in play thanks to his speed. Add in the fact that Bublik may be less than 100 percent physically and de Minaur should roll to his fourth career title.

Pick: De Minaur in 2

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.