Despite ‘feeling Russian’ Wimbledon standout is ‘extremely happy’ to represent another country

Alexander Bublik

Even though he has been the Kazakhstani representative since 2016, Alexander Bublik acknowledged that he still “feels Russian.” During his performance at this week’s Firenze Open, the world No. 43 discussed his choice to swap allegiances. Something this helped him this year because Kazakh players weren’t barred from the Wimbledon competition whereas Russian players were.

Despite being born and raised in Gatchina, Russia, Bublik has been representing Kazakhstan for six years. He argued that “nobody cared about him” in Russia back when he switched to represent Kazakhstan and declared he wouldn’t be “going back.”

He benefited this year from All England Club’s decision to forbid any Russian or Belarusian athletes from competing at Wimbledon. Due to the conflict in Ukraine this year, allowing him to still battle against Kazakhs like fellow Russian-born Elena Rybakina, She ultimately won the women’s singles championship.

‘Of course, I do feel Russian,’- Alexander Bublik

Bublik spoke with Ubitennis about the choice at this week’s ATP 250 in Florence:

“I represent the country that I am playing for. Yes, I was born in Russia and have lived there for most of my life. I moved to Kazakhstan in 2016 and there is a big emotional connection there. What they did for me is incredible and how they helped me when I was in need.”

The 25-year-old was overjoyed with gratitude for all that the nation and its tennis federation had done for him. But he claimed to still feel like a Russian.

“Of course, I do feel Russian,”

Bublik added,

“since my entire family is Russian. “But being a player who represents Kazakhstan in the world arenas is a pleasure for me and I feel very proud.”

Last week, during the first ATP 500 in Astana, Kazakhstan’s champion from Montpellier had the opportunity to compete at home. Conquering his first match but losing his next one.

He gave the following justification for his recent allegiance shift:

“They do everything for my successful career. It is the most crucial.

“The Tennis Federation of Kazakhstan, they are really worried about me. They help, work, and create conditions for me to play well. In Russia it was impossible. There is also a wonderful tennis center in Astana. I don’t know how to describe it in words. But it’s awesome.”

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