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Popyrin Beats Bublik for Singapore ATP Tennis Title, Goffin Triumphs Over Bautista Agut in Montpellier

Alexei Popyrin of Australia holds up the trophy after winning his men’s singles final match against Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan at the Singapore Tennis Open ATP 250 held at the OCBC Arena in Singapore, 28 February 2021. EPA-EFE/WALLACE WOON

By Ricky Dimon

In a battle between two players bidding for their first-ever ATP title, it was Alexei Popyrin who emerged victorious over Alexander Bublik at the Singapore Open on Sunday afternoon.

Playing in his first final and having never even reached a semifinal prior to this week, Popyrin prevailed 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 after just one hour and 21 minutes of play. The 21-year-old Australian fired 11 aces while double-faulting only once.

“It feels unbelievable,” Popyrin said. “A lot of sacrifice, a lot of dedication and a lot of hard work went into this from myself, my team, and my whole entire family. I have done it for everybody who was involved. I am just so proud that I could actually get it done.”

Bublik is now 0-4 lifetime in ATP finals and this was already his second title match in 2020 (retired in Antalya against Alex de Minaur).

“There are a lot of positives,” the 23-year-old Kazakh commented. “My game (has) definitely evolved since last year…. I am happy with my performance during the week. Alexei played enormous tennis today. He hit all the lines, he hit all the serves and all the returns. He was the better player today.”

The matchup was a much different one at the Open Sud de France. Instead of two big-hitting youngsters going for their first title, this one featured a pair of veteran baseline counter-punchers who are also well-established champions.

It was also a meeting between Montpellier’s top two seeds, with No. 2 David Goffin overcoming No. 1 Roberto Bautista Agut 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 after two hours and two minutes. The Belgian served incredibly well–especially in some pressure-packed moments from break point down–and finished with 13 aces.

David Goffin survived three deciding sets en route to the Open Sud de France title. ATPTour.com

It was Goffin’s fifth title in his 10th career final. Bautista Agut was playing in his 17th final and would have reached the double-digit mark in titles with a victory.

“It’s never easy to win tournaments,” Goffin assured. “This is my fifth and every tournament that I’ve won was very special. I had some opportunities, (and other times) I’ve had matches (where) I had zero chance to win in the final. Sometimes you take it; sometimes not.”

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