Bublik breaks Krajinovic for first-round triumph in Marseille | ATP Tour

Bublik breaks Krajinovic for first-round triumph in Marseille | ATP Tour

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Alexander Bublik came to the Open 13 Provence to chase his first tour-level win of the 2023 season. Kazakhstan gave everything they could to get the job done on Monday as they clinched a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 first-round win over Filip Krajinovic in Marseille.

Bublik turned the tide with a late break from Krajinovic’s serve in the second set and two early breaks in the third. Though the 25-year-old was then broken once himself when his lead in the decider was cut to 3-2, Bublik held on to earn a two-hour and nine-minute triumph in which he sent 18 aces.

With the win, Bublik extended his ATP Head2Head series lead against Krajinovic to 2-0. The pair’s previous clash also took place on an indoor hard court in the south of France, with Bublik being a straight-set winner in the Montpellier semifinals last year en route to his first ATP Tour title.

The world No. 50 will look to build on Monday’s win in a second-round meeting with eighth seed Marc-Andrea Huesler or Gregoire Barrere. Bublik is making his second appearance at the ATP 250 in the south of France after reaching the semifinals in the tournament debut in 2020.

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After Bublik, the French Benjamin Bonzi and Luca Van Assche entered Marseille. The pair played two opposing sets in front of their home fans – the first contained five breaks of serve and the second just a break in the 12th and final game – but it was Bonzi who prevailed in both.

The 26-year-old’s 7-5, 7-5 win earned him a second-round clash against fifth-seeded Maxime Cressy or another Frenchman, wild card Geoffrey Blancaneaux. World No. 60 Bonzi is now 4-2 in Marseille after reaching the semi-finals there a year ago.

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