STUTTGART—Nick Kyrgios pondered how it would feel to join forces with a peer who was like-minded. So Alexander Bublik entered the chat.

This week in Stuttgart, the two creative souls teamed up for the first time, posting a winning 6-2, 6-4 debut at the grass-court event. Both present shot-making variety, use of the underhand serve and as Kyrgios experienced, personalities that strongly march to the beat of their own drum.

“I always wondered what it would be like to play with someone like me. He’s a bad listener, he doesn’t listen to what I say,” Kyrgios said with a smile Tuesday after winning his singles opener.

“When I look at him, I see a bit of myself, obviously. The way he plays, the way he goes about it, the way he kind of just walks around. I told him (Monday), he’s really talented, I hope he knows that. Which is dangerous, when players know they’re talented, they tend to just not really care that much.

“It’s a lot of fun.”


Kyrgios is playing his first tournament since early April (Houston). The Australian, who shared he “hit some balls” on grass back home coming in, was forced to adapt in his resumption on the ATP tour after his luggage was lost. Kyrgios played his doubles opener with clay-court footwear, before seeing his grass-court shoes arrive an hour before his singles match Tuesday.

“Feeling good moving forward, just glad to get a win as well,” Kyrgios said following his 7-6 (3), 6-3 victory over Jiri Lehecka.

“I’m not playing as many events this year, so I know that every time I step out on court, I need a win basically to keep my ranking at a point where I can just play tournaments as I wish.”

Bublik and Kyrgios were edged in their quarterfinal Wednesday by Fabrice Martin and Andreas Mies, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4).