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Andrei Rublev: “It’s not right to rely on luck”

Despite losing in the quarterfinals of St. Petersburg Open 2019 to his Russian teammate Daniil Medvedev, the 21-year-old Andrey Rublev came to the press- conference from the court in a good moods and was answering questions with a smile and not without humor. And in the end, he even gave a clear definition of his image.

 

– Thank you for the good game. What was the impact of the fifth game of the first set? You weren’t lucky enough?

 

– In fact, it seems to me quite pointless to say whether I was I lucky or unlucky. It doesn’t matter – if you are stronger, you will always find a way to win. So relying on luck is a bit wrong. As to the fifth game: it was really important. If I ended up winning it – there would have been a different match. Anyway, I think, the match was good. I can congratulate Daniil.

 

– Medvedev said after the match that the reason for his win was the confidence he gained after the American series, and you basically lacked that confidence. Do you agree with this statement?

 

– I think the main reason for my loss today was not a lack of confidence. I felt that I could defeat him. That is why I am a little upset, because if in Cincinnati I understood that I had nothing to win the match (against Medvedev), then today I was thinking that I could win it. But I made repeated egregious errors or palyes some stupid games … I had more failures. I didn’t play consistently like I played in my other matches, for example, against Federer – playing against Roger I set the bar high and played the whole match like that. But today I had failures. And because of these failures, and, yes, of lack of confidence, as Daniil said, he played better in key moments and was able to turn the tide of the match.

 

– Your best match was against Federer. You were focused during the whole match playing a clean tennis without errors. What do you need to play like this more often, and with the top players like Federer and now – like Daniil?

 

– I think, if it was possible to serve better today, it might be easier to stay focused and be concentrated. There were many second serves, many bad first ones. Comparing to yesterday’s game and yesterday’s serve, it was a little different. There is no conssstency yet. It may I serve well for three matches, then it gets worse in the fourth , and then in one match I serve unbelievably making lots of aces. And today it was just the opposite, I had a small percentage on my first serve. I don’t know the reason for it. I hope that I will be consistent. But now it’s all different.

 

– Can you make any positive conclusions from this tournament?

 

– You always can get something positive, even when everything is completely bad. Playing the quarterfinals at home after seven years of unsuccessful attempts is already good for me. Therefore, we’ll see. Winning two matches against good friends is also a great experience. One of them was against Ilya [Ivashko], with whom I’ve been training for several years. It’s a little emotional to play against friends. And I’m glad that I was able to win my first and second match in this tournament. And, in general, today we managed to show a good match.

 

– Quite often you have to play against your fellow countrymen. How difficult is it to play against them, do you feel sorry for them? Maybe you are to play friendlies? Or is there an uncompromising struggle? Does it matter to you who is standing in front of you on the other side of the court – Berrettini or Medvedev?

 

– In fact, it doesn’t matter whether it’s Daniil, Karen or someone else standing in front of me. So far, this has not happened so that we had to somehow get out of these situations. For example, the ball is in the center of the court, and someone hits with all their might right at the player. I wasn’t in such situations, so I did not need to think about regretting it. And at the same time – did not ever think about aiming at a player. If there was an empty spot (on the court), I would most likely hit the ball there to earn a point. I have not yet encountered such a thing.

 

– Now Daniil looks like a player with almost no weaknesses. Can you tell me what was the plan for today’s game? What Daniil’s weak spot did you plan to aim at?

 

– There was no such plan. I understood that everything depended on me. Daniil’s style of play is viscous, he keeps the ball in rally, moves very well, it is hard to break his resistance. I knew this – this is his play style. This style of play is inconvenient for most players. I knew that everything would depend on me in this match: how I will approach the ball, where I will it, at what point I will add pace to it. I knew that he would adapt to everything I do. If I hit with no pace, he will do so, too, if I accelerate, then he will do the same. His game is understandable, but hard to cope with.

 

– Daniil expressed the opinion that the love of the public was divided in half. Was there a feeling that people were cheering for you a little more?

 

– To be honest, for the first time, surprisingly – and I had to play against different opponents – today there was a feeling that people were cheering for you a little more.

 

– Is it nice?

 

– Nice (laughter).

 

– Did yesterday’s late match affect today’s game?

 

– No, yesterday’s match didn’t affect my game. I feel great physically even after this match.

 

– How do you find social networks? And who is the most interesting tennis player to follow on social networks in your opinion?

 

– This is all individual, in my opinion. If you take just my example, it’s easier for me to talk about myself, then, probably, I’m not so active. Because it is understandable – if I do not play tournaments, then I simply do not have recent photos of mine. And asking someone to photograph me against the background of something is kind of stupid. I do not see my image like that. Therefore, I have pauses when I do not post anything for a month (in social networks). I usually put tournament photos or successful shots as part of my image. Photos that I feel will look natural on my page. I can’t imagine myself in dark glasses against the background of the bright sun (laughter). I am an average user of Instagram.

 

– What do you mean by your image? What is it like with you?

 

– My image is … weird, and private. I am a “darker” persona, as I already said, the photo with glasses in the sun is not quite about me.

 

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