Russia along with Serbia could be odds on favorites to win the singles gold. Number one for the Russians Daniil off to a great start with a straight sets victory over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik. Solid service game to start with from Daniil following up a very nervous opening service game from Alexander in which he ultimately got broken. Daniil served more Aces than Bublik who had the height advantage which comes in handy on serves. Tall players can generate speeds as they hit the ball at a bigger angle to the floor compared to the shorter players. Daniil just knew how to place the ball better when serving. He was just a better returner that’s why he got the better of the Kazakhstani in this match. Check out 3-1 first set (30-15 to Bublik). The serve is decent and straight into the body of the Russian, Daniil knew Bublik had come early to the net so he simply had to get the racquet to the ball and Alex would be in trouble. If I was Bublik I would look back on me not asking enough questions of Medvedev especially on his own serve. He had far too comfortable service games for instance check out 3-2 first set. On the plus side Bublik did get the better of Daniil at the net with his reflexes on point.
The second set saw Bublik show more fight and improve his first serve percentage significantly. He went an early break up. But I want you to check out 1-0 to Bublik but 15-0 Daniil. Great start, kick serve pulling Alex wide of the court and then wow the choice of shot dude from the Russian. The ball is coming straight at him and was bound to bounce high making the drop shot too difficult to execute and get any kind of control on it. That set the tone for the first real poor service game from Daniil and was ultimately broken by the Kazakhstani. Now check out this play 3-1 Bublik(15-0 Daniil). Daniil teaches us to always get a good racquet on the ball to keep the point alive when really your back is on the wall during the rally, you never know your opponent might just hand the point to you like Alex did here. Daniil breaking back here way too comfortably for my liking which would be a huge disappointment for Team Kazakhstan. Impressed by movement by Alex at the net for such a big guy. Picking up the match in the tie breaker. Check out 4-1 Daniil already in control. That speed from Bublik, check out how much court he covers to get to the drop shot. From 4-0 up to 4-4, Daniil lost his way a little bit there but thankfully for team Russia he found hits wits again. Bublik double faulting on 8-8 to hand the all important mini break to the Russian.