Kazakhstan's Alexander Bublik will bid for his second ATP title after beating Germany's Alexander Zverev in the Halle semi-final
Halle Westfalen (Germany) (AFP) - Alexander Bublik eased past home hope Alexander Zverev 6-3, 7-5 to reach the final of the Halle ATP tournament on Saturday.
Bublik, 26, will play his first final of the season in the Wimbledon warm-up grass-court event against Russia’s Andrey Rublev who knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut 6-3, 6-4.
Kazakh Bublic won his only title last year in Montpellier against Zverev and now holds a 3-1 record against the German.
On Saturday, Bublik took less than an hour and a half to dispatch the former world number two, firing down 14 aces with a strong service game.
In the first set, he quickly took the lead with a break in the fourth game and then counted on his serve to pull him through.
The two players duelled until 5-5 in the second set, when Zverev collapsed, allowing Bublik to confidently seal victory 7-5.
“The job is not finished, there is one last match,” Bublik said.
“I am happy but I try to stay focused. I tried to play my game and I am really happy with the win today. Playing Sascha is really tough and I was a bit lucky in the key moments. When you play against a top player like Sascha, you need all the weapons to work.”
Third seed Rublev, the 2021 runner-up in Halle, fired 29 winners past Bautista Agut and will be chasing his second title of the year on Sunday after the Monte Carlo Masters clay court trophy in April.
If Rublev lifts his 14th tour-level trophy, he will have captured an ATP 500 title on grass, clay and hard courts.