Wimbledon: Tiafoe steals the show in Bublik’s circus act | Tennis News

LONDON: 23rd American seed Frances Tiafoe kept his focus against a sideshow Alexander Bublik on Friday to reach the fourth round of Wimbledon for the first time.
The 24-year-old hit the air with glee as a Bublik double fault sealed a 3-6 7-6(1) 7-6(3) 6-4 win in front of a captivated home crowd on Court Two.
The Kazakh Bublik is one of the great artists of men’s tennis, a rival of Nick Kyrgios in terms of trick shots but without the frowns and controversy.
Bublik got the upper hand when he won the first set, but Tiafoe valiantly stuck to his task and won the second on a tiebreak before doing the same in the third.
Bublik seemed to have thrown in the towel as he led 3-0 in the fourth, but it was just a trick.
The world No. 38 delivered virtually all of the first serves under the arm in the following game and when most of them failed to land in the box, he followed it up with second serves at 130mph.
There was also some pure genius from Bublik, including a no-look drop shot and scorching base winners, and he miraculously recovered a lob to win a magic rally and break serve, before squaring the set at 4-4 with a booming ace.
Tiafoe looked in danger of being sucked into Bublik’s sideshow when he faced a break point at 4-4, but the American hit an ace and held with a drop shot response to a shot return of serve from Bublik, getting a shot from his opponent. .
The crowd wanted the game to go on, such was the level of excitement, but Bublik couldn’t hold out.
He left the pitch smiling and cheering, while Tiafoe can now expect a more conventional test against either David Goffin Where Ugo Umbert.
Tiafoe is only the third active American male player to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam four times, the others being John Isner and Sam Querrey.

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