Fixture: (4) Alexander Bublik vs Alexei Popyrin
Date: 28 February 2021
Tournament: Singapore Tennis Open
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $300,000
Match timing: Not Before 4 PM local time; 1.30 PM IST
Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Discovery
Alexander Bublik vs Alexei Popyrin preview
Alexander Bublik will take on Alexei Popyrin in the final of the Singapore Tennis Open on Sunday, with a maiden ATP singles title on the line for both players.
Bublik is through to his second ATP final of the year. The 23-year-old had kicked off the 2021 season by reaching the Antalya final, where he retired mid-match against Alex de Minaur.
Following consecutive second-round exits in Melbourne, Bublik is now through to his fourth career final this week (0-3 record in previous finals).
Alexei Popryin, meanwhile, is a former junior World No. 2 who won the 2017 Roland Garros boys' singles title. The Aussie broke into the world's top 100 in 2019, but has been unable to take the next step.
Now ranked No. 114 in the world, Popyrin will move back into the top 100 after having reached his first ATP level final. A win on Sunday would take his ranking to a new career-high.
2021 has started off on a strong note for Popyrin. He registered a third-round appearance at the Melbourne 2 ATP event, and followed that up with a big win over David Goffin at the Australian Open.
Alexander Bublik vs Alexei Popyrin head-to-head
This will be the first ATP meeting between Alexander Bublik and Alexi Popyrin, so their current head-to-head stands at a 0-0 deadlock.
That said, the two have did meet on the Challenger circuit in 2018, with Popyrin winning that encounter in three sets.
Alexander Bublik vs Alexei Popyrin prediction
Alexander Bublik has the ability to get under his opponents' skin. The Kazakh has an aggressive game, which he can vary with drop shots and underarm serves. During his win on Saturday, he even hit a reverse serve.
Bublik has won three matches to reach the final, beating No. 5 seed Yoshihito Nishioka in the quarters and No. 6 Radu Albot in the semis.
On the other hand, the unseeded Alexei Popyrin has had to play four matches to get to the summit clash. Popyrin started off with victories over Christopher Eubanks, Adrian Andreev and Matthew Ebden.
In the semis, the Aussie beat former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-6, 7-6 for one of his career’s biggest victories.
Both Bublik and Popyrin like to use their big serve and groundstrokes to dominate the points. But with a little more experience on his side, Bublik is the favorite to win the title on Sunday.
Prediction: Alexander Bublik to win in three sets.