Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open
Alexander Bublic advances to the Round of 16
For the first time in his young career, Alexander Bublik opens the season with a Tour-level victory. Though today’s 1st-Rounder marked the 22-year-old’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open debut, Sascha’s quite familiar with Doha. Four years ago, this is where he won his first Futures title as an 18-year-old ranked outside the top-700.
Alexander Bublik -55- (KAZ) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
A human highlight-reel with a blistering serve, this 22-year-old is no stranger to success here in Doha. In 2016 – at just 18-years-old – he captured his first Futures title right here at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex. Four years later, he returns to Doha as a 2-time ATP Tour-level Finalist, with 6 Challenger titles in all. Last season alone, he hoisted 3 Challenger trophies, reached his first Tour-level Final in Newport, his second in Chengdu, cracked the ATP’s top-50 for the first time, and made his Davis Cup debut – lifting his country to the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid. Competing in his first Qatar ExxonMobil Open, from Kazahstan – This is Alexander Bublik.
▲ R1 — def  Adrian Mannarino -43- (FRA) | Score: 64 64
Announcer Corner | Alexander Bublik
Each April, the Qatar Tennis Federation hosts three consecutive Futures Tournaments for the sport’s rising global talent. In 2016, ranked outside the top-700, Sascha entered all three. During the first event, he fell to Scott Griekspoor -352- (NED) in the opening round. In the second, he captured his first Futures title. He then reached the Final again in event number 3.
9 wins and 2 losses in his first trip to Qatar – the stage was set.
Same year – six months later – Bublik won a pair of qualifiers at the 2016 Kremlin Cup in Moscow, and upset World #13 Roberto Bautista Agut to reach his first Tour-level Quarterfinal. That victory over last year’s Qatar ExxonMobil Open Champion remains the biggest win of Sascha’s career. Then, in early 2017, Bublik made his Grand Slam debut at the Australian Open – where he won three qualifiers and upset World #16 Lucas Pouille in the 1st-Round. By September, he cracked the ATP’s top-100 for the first time.
While 2018 proved bumpy, Bublik ended the season by winning his 3rd Challenger title. The victory set-up a remarkable 2019 where he won 3 more Challenger titles, reached his first two ATP Tour Finals, and cracked the ATP’s top-50 for the first time. It was the first time he didn’t have to qualify at three of the Majors, propelling him to a career-best 3rd-Round run at the US Open.
 Adrian Mannarino -43- (FRA) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
This French Southpaw captured his first ATP Singles title last year in s’Hertogenbosch, is a 9-time Tour-level Finalist, and has been ranked as high as World #22. He owns 5 top-10 victories, including a Masters-1000 win over Stan Wawrinka in Miami, and a top-5 victory over Marin Cilic to reach the Final in Tokyo. At the Majors, he’s reached the 4th-Round of Wimbledon 3-times – and 4-years-ago, became a Grand Slam Semifinalist for the first time, teaming with countryman Lucas Pouille to reach the Doubles Semifinals at Australian Open. Competing in his second Qatar ExxonMobil Open – From France, he is the World #43, Adrian Mannarino.
▼ R1 — lost Alexander Bublik -55- (KAZ) | Score: 46 46
Announcer Corner | Adrian Mannarino
2019 was another roller coaster season for the Frenchman. The year prior, Adrian climbed his way into the top-25, but had an abysmal Summer. In 2018, he won only a single match from August 1st through the middle of October – when out of nowhere, he reached the Final of the Kremlin Cup. Ultimately, he finished the season as the World #42.
Last year, Mannarino’s misfortune continued. He went 0-6 in his first six events, before finally winning a pair of matches in Delray Beach. Then, out of the blue again, he captured his first career ATP title at s’Hertogenbosch, two weeks after falling in Round-2 of the French Open. Despite finally winning a title in his 7th career Final, results remained sporadic through the U.S. swing. By late September, he fell outside the top-60.
But…in Zhuhai, he reached his second Final of the year. 3-events later, he returned to the championship match of the Kremlin Cup. Thanks to his first title and 3 Finals, by the end of the season Adrian was right back where he started: Ranked just outside the top-40 as the World #43. Wow. It’s a wild ride for the Mannarino fan.