TennisSection previews the 2022 Montpellier Open as Filip Krajinovic takes on Alexander Bublik in the semifinal on Saturday, February 5th, 2022.
Filip Krajinovic will attempt to reach his fifth ATP final of his career at the Montpellier Open. Ironically, his opponent Alexander Bublik is also seeking his fifth finalist appearance. And neither of these two players has won a tour-level title. Who will reach Sunday’s final?
After years of near misses, Filip Krajinovic could garnish his decade-long career with a maiden ATP title this weekend. The fifth-seeded Serbian reached his second semifinal at the Montpellier Open with a 7-5 6-2 win over the Bosnian qualifier Damir Dzumhur. On paper, it looked like a breeze for World No. 36 Krajinovic. But Dzumhur entered the contest on the back of a top-30 win (defeated Basilashvili). And the Bosnian came close to snatch the first set against the run of play when he broke Krajinovic for a 4-3 lead in the first set. However, it was a temporary lead as Krajinovic rallied into the match, winning 10 of the next 13 games.
Alexander Bublik, as we predicted in our pre-match preview, defeated second seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4 2-6 7-6 in a little over two hours. Bublik’s victory fell short in terms of magnitude in comparison to top-seeded Gael Monfils’ exit, but it was a perfectly-executed upset. The Kazakh smashed an astonishing 26 aces and produced a series of eye-catching shots to breach Bautista Agut’s defenses.
Filip Krajinovic and Alexander Bublik have not played each other at any level before. Just one ranking spot separates them, with Krajinovic sitting at 36th in the standings and Bublik 35th. The enigmatic Kazakh dug through another wall on Friday. There’s been at least one tiebreak set in Bublik’s matches at the Montpellier Open this week. This is such a tough call and the oddsmakers can’t seem to separate these two heading into Saturday’s match. However, Bublik’s first-serve could be the difference maker. He has tallied 57 aces in three matches and already escaped the shackles of a great returner in Bautista Agut. Bublik looks poised to reach the final.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Alexander Bublik in three sets.
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