World number 39 Alexander Bublik will be up against fellow Kazakh Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round of the 2021 Eastbourne International on Tuesday, June 22. Get the live streaming options of this Alexander Bublik v Mikhail Kukushkin match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Alexander Bublik v Mikhail Kukushkin Head to Head
While they have never faced off at the highest level, Bublik did defeat Kukushkin in their only meeting at the Challenger circuit.
Bublik Hoping to Overturn Queen’s Loss
Bublik did not make quite the start to the grass swing he would have liked to at Queen’s Club. It wasn’t so much the fact he lost in the second round of that competition but the fact Bublik lost to Jack Draper, a player ranked 309th in the world.
This was after Bublik had gone into the tournament having last played on grass in 2019, in Newport, where he had reached the final.
The Kazakh will, however, take heart from his solid start to the season, one that has seen him pop up from the trenches at different times during 2021 to dish out the results he would be proud of.
We saw that at the Antalya Open where he reached the final, ATP Singapore where he repeated the same, and the Miami and Madrid Masters where he was a quarterfinalist.
Can he now dish out something similar on grass?
Kukushkin Needs Qualifiers to Come Through
When you enter the grass court swing with the kind of record Kukushkin had on clay in the preceding few weeks, it is obvious things cannot go too much worse.
Because the Kazakh veteran, ranked just outside the top 100 on the ATP rankings, had featured in six tournaments on clay this year and lost every single match he played including four in the qualifying rounds.
And when Kukushkin went down in the first round of Nottingham Challenger to the 463rd-ranked Aidan McHugh, it looked like he was on some kind of an undesired roll.
The streak was finally broken at the qualifiers of this tournament as Kukushkin finally defeated both his opponents to make the main draw, including Andreas Seppi, who had gone into their match at 1/2 odds.
Against Bublik, Kukushkin will hope to continue that winning run but it must be quickly added he has won just two main draw matches all year. Things could get very tough as a result.
Bublik v Kukushkin Prediction and Tip
It’s not too much of a surprise that Bublik is a favourite and at 4/9 those are very tempting odds to go with him.