WATCH: Bublik Unties Umpire's Shoelaces Mid-Match... Again

WATCH: Bublik Unties Umpire's Shoelaces Mid-Match... Again

by Evita Mueller

Alexander Bublik repeated his famed shoelace prank at the 2023 Halle Open, entertaining fans yet again.

The professional tennis court often showcases both skill and theatrics, and Alexander Bublik has been consistently demonstrating that the latter isn't absent from his repertoire, along with a very solid grass-court game.

This time, during his second-round match at the 2023 Halle Open, the ever-entertaining Bublik stunned the audience and the umpire alike by deciding to untie the umpire's shoelaces while passing his chair - a jestful act he's now replicated, sparking both amusement and debates.

Indeed, Bublik has become synonymous with fun, showcasing his cheeky side with regular aplomb. Even in a high-pressure environment like a fight for a quarterfinal spot, the Kazakh doesn't shy away from embracing his playful side.

He's no stranger to pushing boundaries and challenging norms, often incorporating unexpected antics into his game, blurring the line between sportsmanship and entertainment.

Bublik's recent 'shoelace' gag has definitely stolen the show at Halle. He was in the midst of a competitive match, locked in an intense second-round contest with his opponent, Jan-Lennard Struff, who was supported by the home crowd.

Despite the pressure of the match, which was leaning towards a tight finish, he navigated towards the umpire's chair and surreptitiously untied the umpire's shoelaces. The crowd was left in splits, and social media platforms were buzzing with shares and comments about Bublik's unconventional jest.

However, for seasoned Bublik watchers, this event may have triggered a sense of déjà vu. The same antic was on display a few months back at the 2022 Florence Open. In retrospect, it seems that Bublik's humorous escapade wasn't spontaneous but perhaps an homage to Alexander Zverev, who initiated this 'tradition' at the 2017 Paris Masters.

Surprisingly, or maybe not so much if you know Bublik's style, this humor-filled interruption did not deter his focus. After the shoelace prank, he went on to win the match 6-3, 6-7(4), 6-3, demonstrating his ability to balance fun and focus in a way few can.

This win set him up for a quarterfinal clash with Jannik Sinner, who he lost to only a week ago in 's-Hertogenbosch. This time, the Kazakh will want to show that he's worthy of a semifinal spot on the surface that he really likes to play on.


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