World number eight Andrey Rublev has qualified ATP finals for the first time in his career. Russian met Spanish Rafael Rafael on his first encounter. The 23-years-old kicked off the match with a lot of hopes and expectations at O2 Arena. But, he fell against 20 times Grand Slam winner in the straight sets(6-3, 6-4).
Rublev gave up his first ATP Finals match against Rafael Nadal, who is part of the Big 3 in the men’s tennis world. A Moscow-native player had several concerns over his loss. Andrey said, “I don’t really play with top players, so all the other players, they play much more with [the] top players.”
Even though Rublev met Nadal twice in the ATP tours, he faced Federer once in his career. Vienna Open 2020 champion added, “I only played three times against [the] top three players [Nadal, Djokovic and Federer]. I don’t really have much experience.” Russian also believes he will perform well against Big 3 in the future meetings.
“Rafa Doesn’t Need To Play Many Tournaments”: Andrey Rublev
Everyone feels nervous at some point. Speaking about performance against idol Rafael Nadal, Rublev said, “I was serving not good at all because I was a little bit nervous, which is normal. When he broke me in the second set, I relaxed and I started to serve much better. Then [it] was [a] different game, but it was too late.”
This season’s leading ATP tour titles(5) winner continued, “Here I came fresh. I rested a couple of days. Then I practised just [a] few days.”
He was comparing himself with one of the greatest players of all time Rafael Nadal. Rublev went on to say, “It’s more about the experience. Rafa is one of the top players, so he wins a Grand Slam, he wins one [ATP] Masters , and he basically doesn’t need to play [as] many tournaments [as me]… In my case it’s different. I need to fight for my spot, so I needed to play those weeks.”
Andrey Rublev will face Stefanos Tsitsipas in his second round-robin match on 18th November.