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By Adrianna Outlaw | Saturday, September 25, 2021

Soonwoo Kwon

World No. 82 Soonwoo Kwon upset second-seeded Alexander Bublik 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to reach his first ATP final at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan.

Photo credit: Kazakhstan Tennis Federation/Astana Open

Kazakhstan fans showed festive spirit supporting home hero Alexander Bublik.

Soonwoo Kwon snatched the celebration with a stirring victory.

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World No. 82 Kwon surprised the second-seeded Bublik 3-6, 7-5, 6-3 to advance to his first career ATP final at the Astana Open in Nur-Sultan.

Kwon withstood 26 aces from the big-serving Bublik and delivered a stellar serving performance of his own.

The Korean served 71 percent, cracked seven aces with no double faults and saved eight of 10 break points in a confident two-hour comeback victory.

"Have you ever served like that?" Bublik asked Kwon at the post-match handshake following a strong performance.

A smiling Kwon hit a ball into the crowd in celebration then sat on his court-side seat and buried his face in a towel absorbing the biggest victory of his career.

The 23-year-old Kwon won 12 of 15 points during a decisive surge in the final set. Kwon broke for a 3-1 third-set lead and backed up the break at love.

Kwon will face Aussie James Duckworth in an all-unseeded final of two men seeing their maiden ATP title tomorrow.

Earlier, Duckworth saved five of six break points toppling eighth-seeded Ilya Ivashka 6-3, 7-6(4) to reach his first ATP final.

The 65th-ranked Duckworth has not dropped a set in four tournament wins, posting a 3-0 tiebreaker record this week.


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