Alexander Bublik claimed his first ATP Tour title with a stunning straight-sets victory over Alexander Zverev in the Open Sud de France final.

The 24-year-old went into Sunday's match without a career win over a top-five opponent and having lost two finals in a career-best season in 2021.

He was not to be denied this time, however, powering his way to a 6-4 6-3 win over the world number three in Montpellier in just one hour and 10 minutes.

The Kazakhstani lost just four points behind his first serve throughout the match, the only blip coming when he handed Zverev a break back to love after moving 3-2 ahead in the first set.

After regaining the advantage, Bublik survived two more break points before closing out the opener and the pressure only increased on the Zverev serve in the second set.

Bublik broke to love to lead 3-2 and again in the final game as Zverev's resistance wilted.

He can now look forward to rising to a career-high place in the rankings when the updated list is published on Monday.

Alexander Zverev breezed into the semi-finals of the Open Sud de France by beating home favourite Adrian Mannarino for the loss of just one game.

The world number three needed just 50 minutes to swat aside Mannarino 6-1 6-0 to set up a last-four match with Mikael Ymer.

Champion at this event in 2017, Zverev's record in Montpellier moved to 9-1 and he has now won seven matches in a row against Mannarino.

Ymer, the world number 83, squandered one match point in his contest with Richard Gasquet but eventually came through 7-5 6-7 (6-8) 6-1.

The best entertainment came in the earlier match between Alexander Bublik and Roberto Bautista Agut, sixth seed Bublik eventually coming through 6-4 2-6 7-6 (7-4) after just over two hours on court.

He will face Filip Krajinovic for a place in the final, the Serbian having beaten Damir Dzumhur in straight sets.

At the Tata Open Maharashtra, rising Italian star Lorenzo Musetti was surprised by world number 95 Kamil Majchrzak.

The Pole, who defeated Musetti's compatriot Andreas Seppi at the Australian Open in straight sets, won 6-2 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 to set up a semi-final against Emil Ruusuvuori.

The other semi-final sees Joao Sousa, into the last four at Tour level for the first time since St Petersburg in 2019, face Elias Ymer.

 "I think I played a great match," said Sousa after beating Daniel Altmaier in straight sets. "I was very solid. I knew it was going to be a tough match, so I was prepared to run a lot."

Top seed Alexander Zverev returned to winning ways after a surprise fourth-round Australian Open exit when he won his first match at the Open Sud de France on Thursday.

The German world number three was bounced out at Melbourne Park by Denis Shapovalov in straight sets, but he navigated his way safely past Mackenzie McDonald to reach the quarter-finals in Montpellier.

A largely dominant Zverev won 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to set up a clash with Adrian Mannarino in the last eight, and the 24-year-old highlighted how important he felt it was to quickly get back in the swing of things after disappointment in Melbourne.

"I'm going to give myself the best chance to do well in this tournament. But obviously, I'm happy to be back here," he said of the tournament he won in 2017.

"This is a place I really enjoy coming back [to]. After the Australian Open that I had, I wanted to play tournaments before my scheduled tournaments in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami. I said Montpellier is the perfect fit for that, and I'm happy to be here."

The same cannot be said for Gael Monfils, who suffered a crushing 6-1 6-2 defeat to Mikael Ymer on home soil.

The Swede was practically flawless throughout, winning a whopping 83 per cent of points on first serve and 89 per cent on second, with Monfils never even sniffing out a single opportunity to break back.

Richard Gasquet is a force to be reckoned with in Montpellier and reached another quarter-final, seeing off South Korean's Kwon Soon-woo 7-5 6-4.

Frenchman Gasquet reached six consecutive finals in Montpellier while in his prime years, being crowned champion in 2013, 2015 and 2016, and finishing runner-up in 2014, 2017 and 2018. Now 35, his last quarter-final appearance in an ATP main tour event came in August at Winston-Salem.

Gasquet's fellow Frenchman Mannarino sank the hopes of defending champion David Goffin, scoring a sparkling 6-4 6-2 victory.

Fourth seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who lost twice to Andy Murray in Australia last month, this time fell to world number 152 Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia-Herzegovina, sliding to a 6-1 5-7 6-2 defeat. Basilashvili, the world number 21, now has a record of played five, lost five, for the 2022 season.

At the Tata Open Maharashtra in Pune, there was a surprise defeat for Russian top seed Aslan Karatsev. Karatsev won a title in Sydney last month before losing to Mannarino in the third round of the Australian Open, and in his first match since that disappointment he slumped 6-2 7-6 (7-3) to Swedish qualifier Elias Ymer.

Three seeds joined Ymer in the quarter-finals, with Jiri Vesely, Emil Ruusuvuori and Stefano Travaglia all making smooth progress without dropping a set. Vesely faces Ruusuvuori on Friday, while Travaglia awaits Ymer.

Alexander Bublik moved into the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France as he continues to put a poor Australian Open behind him.

Bublik is seeded sixth in Montpellier but is coming off a second-round exit at the hands of Gael Monfils in Melbourne.

However, the world number 35 moved into the last eight on Wednesday, though he needed three sets to do so against Pierre-Hugues Herbert, the qualifier taking the second set to force a decider.

Bublik claimed a 6-3 6-7 (2-7) 6-2 win and will face Roberto Bautista Agut in the quarters. 

Bautista Agut claimed the first set against Gilles Simon 6-4 and was 3-2 up in the second when the Frenchman retired injured. 

Besides Filip Krajinovic's 6-4 7-6 (7-2) defeat of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the rest of the day's action comprised of round of 32 matchups. Seventh seed Ugo Humbert crashed out in three sets to four-time champion Richard Gasquet, while Adrian Mannarino and Mackenzie McDonald both prevailed.

Meanwhile, at the Tata Open Maharashtra, Lorenzo Musetti claimed his first win of 2022 following an impressive 2021.

The 19-year-old, who progressed to the last 16 at Roland Garros last year, fought back from losing the first-set tie-break to defeat Aleksandar Vukic in three sets.

"Aleksandar was playing good, he was serving really big, and I tried to stay calm even in the second set, [which] I didn't win. It didn't go the way that I planned. But the third set was a really great set," Musetti said.

"I stayed really focused with the right attitude and I won a great match with a tough opponent. I'm really happy to be here and to be in the quarter-finals."

Also victorious in Pune were Joao Sousa, Daniel Altmaier and Kamil Majchrzak, whom Musetti will face next.

 

 

Defending Open Sud de France champion David Goffin rallied from losing the first set to defeat Benjamin Bonzi in Monday's first-round match.

Eighth seed Goffin, ranked at world number 52, prevailed 2-6 7-5 6-1 in Montpellier against the Frenchman.

It looked bleak for Goffin when Bonzi raced into a 3-0 lead in the second set, yet the Belgian reeled off three successive games to get himself back in the fight before snatching a crucial break to make it 6-5, and he did not look back from there.

"During the match I stayed positive even though I was one set and one break down," Goffin said.

"I tried to stay focussed, to stay as long as possible on the court to try to get some confidence, to work on certain things: to be more aggressive, [hit] a better quality of ball.

"At the end it was better and better, so I'm really happy the way I played at the end of the second and in the third."

Next up for Goffin is a tie with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, or another Frenchman in the form of Adrian Mannarino, who lost to eventual Australian Open winner Rafael Nadal in Melbourne last month.

Monday's other match saw sixth seed Alexander Bublik defeat Tallon Griekspoor 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-5).

Yuki Bhambri was the story at the Tata Open Maharashtra, as the Indian claimed a first tour-level match win in almost four years, beating Jozef Kovalik 6-7 (10-12) 6-2 7-5.

Bhambri, ranked at 863 in the world, had only played two singles matches on the ATP Tour since 2019 due to a knee injury and had last beat Mirza Basic in Miami in 2018.

"It is a privilege to play at home and it is an important win as well playing at my home tournament," he said. "Each match is tough at tour-level so I am just taking it one match at a time."

Radu Albot beat Federico Gaio in straight sets, while seventh seed Ricardas Berankis was shocked by Quentin Halys and Daniel Altmaier also progressed.

David Goffin beat Roberto Bautista Agut in the Open Sud de France final to win his first title on the ATP Tour since 2017.

The Belgian came from a set down to prevail 5-7 6-4 6-2, securing a fourth consecutive win over Bautista Agut.

It made him just the third non-Frenchman to lift the trophy in Montpellier, following in the footsteps of Tomas Berdych and Alexander Zverev.

The world number five sent down 13 aces and converted four of his seven break points en route to his fifth tournament win.

Alexei Popyrin claimed his maiden ATP Tour title with victory over Alexander Bublik in the final of the Singapore Tennis Open.

Popyrin, who stunned Marin Cilic in the last four, triumphed 4-6 6-0 6-2.

The Australian lost only six points on his serve, wrapping up the win in 84 minutes.

"It feels unbelievable," said Popyrin. "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."

David Goffin moved a step closer to ending his ATP Tour title drought by seeing off the challenge of Egor Gerasimov at the Open Sud de France. 

Having previously lost in two semi-final appearances at the tournament in Montpellier, Goffin made it third time lucky as he came out on top in a deciding set against his opponent from Belarus. 

The second seed claimed the crucial break in the seventh game, then quickly consolidated his lead with an impressive hold. Gerasimov forced him to serve out for the win and Goffin duly delivered under pressure, clinching on his second match point. 

The world number 15 – who won two of his four career titles in 2017, but none since - will next face Roberto Bautista Agut, who defeated Peter Gojowczyk 7-5 6-1 after just one hour and 16 minutes on court.

At the Singapore Tennis Open, Alexei Popyrin caused an upset as he defeated Marin Cilic via a pair of tie-breaks in a hard-fought semi-final. 

Popyrin prevailed 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-2) to knock out Cilic, who had survived two match points before eventually beating Kwon Soon-woo in the previous round. 

Alexander Bublik is also through to the final, guaranteeing a first-time winner on the ATP Tour at the tournament. 

Bublik made the final of the Antalya Open earlier this year but had to retire due to an ankle injury. He will hope for better fortunes on Sunday, securing another opportunity for a maiden title after battling back from a set down to see off Radu Albot. 

Egor Gerasimov followed up his win over Andy Murray in Montpellier by powering past a man who once played second fiddle to the Scot.

The Belarusian saw off Aljaz Bedene, with a 6-4 7-6 (7-4) win carrying him through to the quarter-finals of the Open Sud de France.

Bedene was British number two to Murray heading into Wimbledon in 2016, when the Scot won his third grand slam title, but has since reverted to representing his native Slovenia.

He put up a fight against Gerasimov, who sank Murray in straight sets on Tuesday, but the 28-year-old from Minsk took three of his five break-point opportunities and held his nerve in the tie-break to advance.

The success for Gerasimov sets up a last-eight clash with Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, who scored a fine 7-5 6-2 win over Polish fourth seed Hubert Hurkacz.

Top seed and world number 13 Roberto Bautista Agut raced to a 6-0 6-3 victory over French qualifier Gregoire Barrere, but Croatian third seed Dusan Lajovic tumbled out, losing to Dennis Novak in straight sets.

At the Singapore Open, second seed John Millman fell by the wayside, the Australian slumping 6-4 6-1 to compatriot Matthew Ebden.

French top seed Adrian Mannarino encountered no such problems, ending the hopes of Roberto Marcora with a 6-3 7-5 win to join Ebden in the quarter-finals.

Andy Murray endured a miserable return to ATP Tour action as he alarmingly lost in straight sets to Egor Gerasimov at the Open Sud de France.

A positive coronavirus test ahead of the Australian Open meant Murray had not played on the main tour ahead of travelling to Montpellier this week.

The three-time major champion, who lost in the final of a Challenger Tour event in Biella earlier this month, revealed on Monday he did not watch the action at the first grand slam of the year "because I wanted to be there myself".

But Murray also suggested practice had gone well in the meantime and he was optimistic of again competing with the world's best.

Tuesday's first-round meeting with Gerasimov brought a bump back down to earth.

The Briton went down 7-6 (10-8) 6-1 to Gerasimov, whose previous outing had been a 6-0 6-1 6-0 humbling at the hands of Melbourne surprise package Aslan Karatsev.

There were no signs of an impending implosion as Murray held his own in the first set, broken in the seventh game but responding instantly to reach a tie-break.

Gerasimov – playing Murray for the first time – converted a fourth set point, though, and his opponent was way off the pace in the second, forced to defend match point just to avoid an embarrassing bagel.

Home hopefuls Lucas Pouille and Gilles Simon were each also eliminated, while eighth seed Jan Lennard Struff went down to compatriot Peter Gojowczyk.

Radu Albot was the only seed in action at the Singapore Open and came through unscathed against John-Patrick Smith, one of three Australian players to depart across Tuesday's four matches at the tournament.

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga suffered defeat in his first match since last year's Australian Open as he was beaten in straight sets by Sebastian Korda at the Open Sud de France.

Tsonga last played in the first round in Melbourne last January, when he retired from his clash with Alexei Popyrin, owing to a back injury.

And the former Australian Open finalist was unable to make it a winning return at a tournament where he lifted the trophy in 2019.

Korda eased to a 6-4 6-2 win, with the only home success of the day coming from Ugo Humbert while Lorenzo Sonego saw off Hugo Gaston.

Popyrin, who stunned David Goffin in the first round at this year's Australian Open, was a winner over Christopher Eubanks at the Singapore Tennis Open.

Lloyd Harris beat Popyrin in the second round in Melbourne, but they will not meet again in this tournament after the South African was undone by wild card Adrian Andreev.

Yoshihito Nishioka, Maxime Cressy and Taro Daniel also prevailed.

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