Australia’s Alexei Popyrin celebrates beating Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in their men’s singles final match at the Singapore Tennis Open tournament in Singapore on February 28, 2021. — AFP pic
Australia’s Alexei Popyrin celebrates beating Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik in their men’s singles final match at the Singapore Tennis Open tournament in Singapore on February 28, 2021. — AFP pic

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SINGAPORE, Feb 28 — Australia’s Alexei Popyrin came back from a set down to beat Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik at the Singapore Open today and win his first ATP Tour title.

Popyrin started off badly, losing the first set 4-6 but charged back and snatched the second 6-0. 

Bublik put up more of a fight at the start of the third, with both men holding their serve until it reached 2-2.

But Popyrin then surged ahead, firing a total of 11 aces, to take the set 6-2 and clinch the title.

The 21-year-old, who had earlier stunned former world number three Marin Cilic in the semi-finals, was delighted with his breakthrough.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling to know I have won my first ATP title,” he said.  

“I always have the belief that I can compete against the top guys and without that belief, I would not be able to win an ATP title. It’s a good start and hopefully I can build on this result.”

He added that Bublik “was mentally up and down so I just had to keep my head level and weather the storm when he was playing well in the first set. I was not scared—I knew I was playing well”.

In the doubles finals, the formidable partnership between Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen proved too strong for Australia’s Matthew Ebden and John-Patrick Smith as the Belgians won comfortably 6-2,6-3. — AFP



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