Jannik Sinner knocked out Alexander Bublik for the second tournament in a row, this time defeating the Kazakh 7-6 (5), 6-4 at the Miami Open. And Bublik seemed in awe of Sinner after the match, audibly claiming that the teenager was 'not a human'.
"You are not a human, man," Bublik said to Sinner at the net. "You are 15 years old, and you play like this. Good job."
Probed fruther about that comment during his post-match press conference, Alexander Bublik showered rich praise on Jannik Sinner. According to Bublik, Sinner's mental toughness is well beyond his years; the Kazakh claimed that that is a trait you don't see in too many players.
Bublik also revealed that he called Sinner a 'robot' on a couple of occasions during the match.
"He's not [human]. That's a fact," Bublik said. "I asked him if he's a human or not, because for me, it's very surprising that the guy at his age has this mental toughness that many, many other players don't have. I called him a robot a couple of times during the match, but I do it in a very sincere way because he's a really, really a great player."
Alexander Bublik stressed that Jannik Sinner's ability to lift his game in the clutch moments is so great that his opponents need to go for broke every half-chance they get.
"I played him in a very crucial moment in the tie-break… and [he] pulled off [two] incredible shots when it was 5/4," Bublik added. "Every time when I had a big point, either I needed to go super crazy like I was doing with the forehand and just [go for a] shot that goes in with a five per cent chance, or he's playing really unbelievable."
Bublik then delved deeper into his verbal exchange with Jannik Sinner at the net, revealing that the 19-year-old also questioned whether he was human. But Bublik highlighted the fact that nerves often get the better of him in crucial moments, which is why he considers himself to be far more 'human' than Sinner.
"That's why I asked him if he's even a human," Bublik went on. "He asked me if I'm a human. Of course I am. I make double faults when I'm break point down because I get a little bit tight."
Jannik Sinner is mentally and physically strong: Alexander Bublik
Alexander Bublik continued to rave about Jannik Sinner in his post-match conference. The 23-year-old pointed out that Sinner is unlike other players of a similar age, who often suffer setbacks, lose focus and end up succumbing by a big margin.
In that context, Bublik believes that Jannik Sinner is 'built different'.
"Well, he's just strong, he's mentally strong, he's physically strong," Bublik continued. "And I mean, he's a great player. As you can see, when he was he's, what, 19-18 years old, he's making this impact on the tour. And he doesn't really, like, you know, fall. You see some youngsters, they come up and they lose a match 2 and 2. (But) Jannik is built different."