2021 Viking International

Sonego smashes out-of-sorts Bublik off Centre Court

Italian dishes up all the perfect ingredients to breeze into semi-finals

Lorenzo Sonego, the Italian no.3 seed, swept aside Alexander Bublik 6–1 7–5 to become the first player at Devonshire Park to book a semi-final berth.

The clay court expert, who eased past Australian John Millman in the 2nd Round 6–4 6–2, was back to his best as he raced away with the opener and seemed wonderfully consistent on the surface with controlled speed and length behind his shots.

Trick shot-loving Bublik was blown away in the opening set, thumping down just three aces, but improved over time and added five more aces. The no.8 seed had no answer against his passionate opponent on Centre Court, and will need to severely up his performances if he is going to make an imapct at Wimbledon.

The Kazakhstani ace, who stands at a towering 6’5”, has a mighty weapon of serving aces and easily leads the number of aces on the ATP Tour this year. Yet after blasting 18 aces past compatriot Mikhail Kukushkin in the opening round encounter, his machine-gun serves deserted him against Sonego.

Sonego, who has three titles to his credit and became the first Italian in 15 years to lift an ATP Tour crown on home clay in April, will be aiming to maintain his incredible momentum to capture his first grass court trophy claiming the 2019 Antalya Open in Turkey.

Surprisingly, the 26-year-old from Turin, has yet to win a Singles match at Wimbledon and bowed out in the opening round both in 2018 and 2019.

Sonego enthused: “I am full of energy because I like playing here. My serve is good for the grass court, and I like playing in Eastbourne. There are a lot of Italian fans, and it’s good for me.

“It was really tough. I’m really happy with the match because it is not easy playing against Bublik, because he’s an amazing talent.”

Lorenzo Sonego

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