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An unexpected semi-final awaits us at the Antalya Open 2021 in Turkey. The eighth seed Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan meets the French journeyman Jeremy Chardy in a match that nobody would have expected. Both men have shown fantastic tennis this week and deserve to be here. Who will win and advance to the first final of the 2021 season?
Alexander Bublik is currently in 49th place but that should increase after a strong performance here in Antalya this week. He is known to be an extremely talented player who, however, loses focus and is very easily distracted. He has all the tools to be a great player, but it’s hard to predict which version of him will emerge as he’s just as likely not to be bothering to fight a match as he is to beating a top player. He seems to have been in control this week and has been very impressive. The highlight of his week was his straight set win against Matteo Berrettini, the first seed, a big surprise in which he showed amazing composure to claim the win. He has a good serve and forehand and will try to keep veteran Chardy at the baseline. If he is able to keep his concentration and anger problems under control, he will step into this match as a big favorite.
Jeremy Chardy is certainly not a name anyone would have predicted in the semi-finals. He is in the twilight of his career and has seen his ranking and accomplishments dwindle lately. However, this week he turned back the clock and played fantastic tennis, namely his disgruntled win against Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals. He’s a very solid player, but his fitness will certainly be in question as he has to make his way up to this stage of the tournament. He will have to fall back on all of his experiences here.
I predict a relatively comfortable win for Alexander Bublik. If he’s not focused this is easily a match he can lose against a staunch veteran who doesn’t reveal much, but he seems to have his mental demons under control and his talent is undeniable. Simply put, the French don’t have the game to worry the Kazakhs when they are fully dialed. Alexander Bublik wins and reaches his third ATP final.
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