Kazakh tennis star Alex Bublik pulled a Nick Kyrgios at the end of his Wimbledon match losing to Frances Tiafoe and the Aussie had jokes.
Kazakh tennis star Alexander Bublik had a bizarre finish in his third round Wimbledon loss to American Frances Tiafoe – and Aussie Nick Kyrgios saw the lighter side.
Bublik lost 3-6 7-6 7-6 6-4 in a close game, but raised his eyebrows when he grabbed his bag of tricks late in the game in an apparent attempt to upset Tiafoe.
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Trailing 0-3 in the fourth set, Bublik tried something different, serving six under the arm in one game, which he eventually won after four deuces.
It wasn’t all Bublik had, as he threw down 25 aces and some big second serves, although the latter led to 13 double errors in the game.
Known as an entertainer with a bag of tricks similar to Kyrgios, not everyone was a fan of Bublik’s antics, but the controversial Australian tennis star was.
Kyrgios tweeted: “I love it, it’s different. But if it were me, I would be charged with fueling and fined at least £15,000.”
Kyrgios was fined £8,000 for his first-round outburst against Briton Paul Jubb, where he… he admitted he spat at a heckler†
After the Jubb match, Kyrgios, who has the underarm serve in his bag of tricks, said he was criticized for it, while former grand slam champion Andy Murray was praised for deed in the first round match against Aussie James Duckworth.
“I actually remember the first time I did it was against Nadal in Acapulco,” Kyrgios said at the Jubb press conference.
“Actually looking back. Everyone should just watch that. The commentators said, ‘What has he done here? It’s so disrespectful. Why would he do that?’
“Now it’s like, ‘So smart. Andy Murray, so smart.’ I’m like, what the hell? I’m playing Rafael Nadal for about three hours. I couldn’t win a point. I threw in a forearm serve. They say, ‘I don’t know if there’s room for that in the game.’
“Everyone is doing it now. It’s like they’re geniuses.”
Kyrgios was far from the only one to react, with Tiafoe himself saying that Bublik was starting to get to him.
“I was smoking at one point,” Tiafoe said. “I was trying to hold it in. I think it was just that big to get that hold on 4-all. Hitting that breaking point with ace was huge.
“He hasn’t checked out. He was just trying to get me out of my game, which he did. No one is checked out when they are at Wimbledon.
“What he did was work, but clearly not good enough.”
For Tiafoe, he is one of eight American players to have made it to the third round – the most since 1995 – while being one of two to have already reached the fourth round.
However, fans were divided on the tactic.
Ben Rothenberg of Racquet Magazine wrote: “Bublik has just come a long way back on his serve in the fourth. King of trolls.”
He also added: “Tiafoe survives Bublik’s wildest rides in the fourth set to continue. Sublime match, and often sublimely stupid.”
USA Today’s Dan Wolken tweeted: “Bublik is such an idiot. Ridiculous things after breaking behind Tiafoe in 4th.”
Originally published as ‘I would be accused of fueling and fined’: Nick Kyrgios responds to star antics