Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
THE MODERATOR: We can start with the first question.
Q. Should Novak win tonight, and you face him in the semis…
ANDREY RUBLEV: But I’m not facing Novak.
Q. Should you face him should he win tonight.
ANDREY RUBLEV: I’m facing Sascha. We’re from different parts. Novak is facing Medvedev. If I’m going to face Novak, first I need to win semifinal.
If I will face Novak somewhere later during the season, I hope I’m not going to face him (smiling).
Q. Could you tell us your thoughts on that.
ANDREY RUBLEV: No, there is no thoughts. I mean, when you play players like Novak or Rafa, you have to play the perfect day. You have to play today everything should work, mental-wise, physical-wise. You have to be fresh. Shots have to be really clean and clear idea how to play. Serve have to be on a good part and return. Then you have good chances to fight against these top players.
If you don’t feel something, like today you don’t really feel the serve or you’re physically tired or you show weaknesses mental, they use it straight away. That’s why they are much better.
Q. You had two match points earlier in the game. It went to the tiebreak. What was your mental battle on court today against him?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Today I was just trying to go to play aggressive, to try to lead the point. I think I was doing that really well.
In one moment I was stressing a lot with myself, but then I was trying to talk positive. Every game I’m also having break points. There is no point to stress or to rush because was 3-0, Love-40, then 4-1, 30-All or something, then 5-2, first set was set point also, I didn’t make it, but I had set point.
Second set I think first game I had already something like 15-30 and second serve or something. I don’t know. Then I broke him. Then again I had break point at 4-1 to have double break. Then at 5-3, I had two match points. Every game I had some chances.
As soon as I lose my serve I said, Okay, restart, let’s try to be calm because otherwise I’m going to lose this match if I keep stressing like that. There is no point to stress because during all the match I was holding my serve quite confident. Every time on his serve I had chances. Just be there and we’ll see what’s going to happen.
Then on the tiebreak at 3-All, I played really well four points.
Q. I have a question about the influence from the audience. At one point yesterday you got a lot of support. Did that help you yesterday to your winning the game later on? Also does that impact as much certain things that irritate you like tonight, does that affect you negative as much as this helped?
ANDREY RUBLEV: Support I think is always helping. When you feel a lot of people support you, you have much more support than your opponent, in my case I think it helps because normally when I become top 10, it was pandemic time, so there was no crowd for almost two years. Before I was not as good. I still don’t know how is to play with the crowd when they’re supporting you. If I was playing someone my level, we are playing small court. If I was playing someone good that was top seeded, obviously all support was going to him.
When I become top 10 was pandemic time. Anyway, if I was playing center court, there was no crowd. Now I think it’s basically one and a half year that I can feel more and more people support me. I don’t know, is a great feeling.
About the crowd, when you stress, it’s more it start to distract you. But it’s my problem, you know? It’s nothing else.
Q. You don’t have any victories against your semifinal opponent Zverev. How will you approach that? What are your thoughts on the semifinal?
ANDREY RUBLEV: We’ll see. I want to do my best. That’s it. I want to fight. I want to show great match and we’ll see what’s going to happen. If he’s better, he will deserve to win. If I’m better, I will deserve to win. So it’s simple.
Q. If there’s one thing you wanted to do differently tomorrow, what would it be?
ANDREY RUBLEV: I’m happy with my game. Maybe a bit to stay more focused, yeah, stay more calm because everything today was under control and I start sometimes to stress too much because I wanted to, I don’t know, win. I feel I have chances. In the end it almost cost me a third set.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports