Bublik Cruises in Phoenix Challenger QFs | ATP Tour

Fourth-placed Alexander Bublik wasted no time at Friday’s Arizona Tennis Classic to advance to the quarterfinals of the Challenger 175 event.

It took the 25-year-old just 53 minutes to defeat China’s Zhang Zhizhen 6-1, 6-2. Bublik backed up his tough first delivery with a strong return performance, capturing 14 of 19 points ahead of Zhang’s second serve.

The Kazakh, who saved all four break points on Friday, will next look to avenge his previous two defeats (’18 Budapest, ’21 St. Petersburg) against Jan-Lennard Struff when he meets the German in the quarterfinals of the Phoenix Challenger . Qualifier Struff also crossed on Friday, defeating Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-3.

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In front of a full stadium at Phoenix Country Club, top seed Matteo Berrettini prevailed 7-5, 7-6 (5) over Australian qualifier Aleksandar Vukic. The Italian next meets Alexander Shevchenko, who won the Tenerife Challenger-1 earlier this year. Shevchenko advanced through qualifying in Phoenix, defeating Gael Monfils and Marc-Andrea Huesler to make it into the last eight.

Three seeded players were upset on Friday, including France’s Richard Gasquet, who lost 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 to American Aleksandar Kovacevic. Kovacevic, 24, will move into the top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Live Rankings should he defeat Quentin Halys tomorrow.

France’s Halys pulled off an upset of his own by defeating world No. 59 Emil Ruusuvuori 3-6 6-3 6-4. Alexei Popyrin also advanced on Friday as he defeated seventh seed Mikael Ymer 6-2, 6-2.

Nuno Borges achieved a perfect 7-0 season record at Challenger level by beating Roman Safiullin. The Portuguese No. 1 reinforced his highest-ranking win, which he achieved by beating second-seeded Diego Schwartzman on Tuesday night.

You may also like: Borges is booming on the Challenger Tour

Due to the rain earlier this week, Phoenix will host quarterfinals in the morning and semifinals after a reasonable break on Saturday.

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