Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 19- March 4, 2023
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
March 3, 2023

Andrey Rublev – Press Conference

2023 Men's Singles Semifinals: A. RUBLEV/A. Zverev 6-3, 7-6

Andrey Rublev

ANDREY RUBLEV: Hi, guys.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Second year in a row in the final. The tiebreak was a roller coaster. How were you able to keep your nerves and proceed?

ANDREY RUBLEV: To be honest, I don’t know. I was just thinking that it’s going to be third set. I just need to accept it, like I don’t know, keep preparing myself for the third set. Then if somehow, if it’s not going to happen, then perfect. It means that I win the match.

I was thinking more this way. In the end, yeah, we had dramatic. I had in the beginning 6-4, two match points, I didn’t make it. Then he had set point. He missed a bit out. Again, him and my set point, match point.

In the end I was able to make it with a last crazy rally. Then, yeah, was two sets so I was lucky.

Q. Botic, you had never beaten him. Sascha, you’d never beaten him. Is there anything clicking for you mentally this week?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I hope. I don’t know if something clicking there in the head or not. But I hope…

I mean, I’m happy that I was stable today mentally, especially on the tiebreak that I was able to be there, to play well. So we’ll see what’s going to happen.

Now I have nothing to lose. Either it’s Daniil or Novak. If it’s Novak, I’m going to have nothing to lose. Let’s see what happen. Not much to say.

Q. You beat him in a final.

ANDREY RUBLEV: Novak?

Q. Yes.

ANDREY RUBLEV: But there I was lucky (smiling).

Q. Either Novak or Daniil, what challenge do they have for you?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I think they are both very similar player who both of them have better backhand. I mean, they have different type of the game because Daniil, he play really low and flat. Djokovic play with more spin. But also he play from I would say more counterattack. It’s not the kind of player who take the lead and they play aggressive every point.

Daniil is similar. Daniil is like to be the one that counterattack, wait for the right moment. The way they play from the baseline is a bit different, but tactic-wise I would say similar. Both of them serve super good, super hard.

I mean, with Daniil, it’s going to be basically, if I’m going to play Daniil, it’s going to be maybe 30 shots one rally. With Novak is different. With Novak I think I have to play really well, serve really well, otherwise it’s going to be really, really tough. I think he knows how to play me, so… If I don’t show a great level, then it’s going to be really tough.

Q. Because of the injury, what did you think of his game? Can you tell us if during the injury you were talking?

ANDREY RUBLEV: During the injury was simple: he just didn’t reply (smiling). He reply me once after one month maybe.

But, yeah, it’s not easy when you have really tough injury like this. It’s really tough. Both way. Mentally I would say. Mentally it’s tough. I don’t think something is disturbing now him, but I think it’s mentally.

In my case, when I had stress fracture in my back, in my case it was more mental because inside I understand how to move, what to do, how to play tennis, but on reality I couldn’t do two steps.

I think in the beginning when he start to play last year, he had similar feelings. But now he start to play better. Even though he lost last week to Andy, he lost three sets, almost beat him. This week he already beat really good players. We had really tough match here that was completely equal. You never know if he would win second set how could be the third set.

I don’t know. Last year I didn’t play him so I don’t really know how to compare his level. If let’s say I compare his level with Cincinnati that we play final where he destroy me, I would say serving-wise he sort of even better than in Cincinnati. In Cincinnati he was still doing some double-faults, stuff like that.

Maybe he moved a bit better, but it’s tough to say because passed two, two and a half years. Was completely different tournament, completely different surface. No, not surface, conditions, sorry.

At that time I was out of order, so it’s tough to compare. I hope now I’m a better player and it’s also different story.

Q. After a 5-0 defeat, what did you do differently in this game?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I don’t know. I was going on court that today I have nothing to lose. I lost to him five times, like you say. Who cares if it’s six times or five times? One more, one less, no big difference. Why I should feel pressure?

He’s the one who should feel pressure because maybe can be his first time that he can lose to me. He should be the one who had pressure, not me.

In my case, five or six or seven, it already doesn’t matter. It’s more than enough (smiling). So I was thinking more this way. That’s probably help me to be more relax.

Q. You said yesterday you wanted to be more cool, that you were very tough on yourself. Did that help today?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I hope today I was complaining much less than yesterday. Even yesterday I had completely the match under control. Today was still 50/50 the match. I was able to be more stable, which is really good.

Q. Last year you won in Serbian Open. We are interested if you’re coming to the next one. A different city. After that victory, you became more popular even if you beat Novak, even my nephew…

ANDREY RUBLEV: Say hi to your nephew (smiling).

I think I have to give an answer by the end of this week to the Serbian tournament. We’ll see. I hope. I don’t know. We’ll see because now I’m playing the tournament, so I’m not really into what’s happening, how is the situation. But I know the answer should be by the end of this week, so we’ll see.

Me, I enjoy a lot last year Belgrade. Was really, really nice tournament. I mean, the Novak family did everything at least for me. I was completely welcome there. I’m really grateful for them for that.

Q. I wanted to ask you about how last year has been for you mentally, given the war and the situation in Ukraine. Has it affected you? We’ve heard a lot about the Ukrainian players… There was a ban on you guys at Wimbledon. Can you talk about what it has been like for you?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I mean, I did many statements about it.

I mean, of course was tough. It’s hard. It’s hard to talk about it because even if you try to – how you say – just play tennis or something, to stay practicing and stuff, you know it’s affecting you even if you are not part or with or something, but still it’s affecting a lot.

You cannot act like nothing happen because it’s horrible. Like I was saying all the time, it’s crazy that so many just normal citizens suffering, dying. Is just not easy.

It’s not easy that it’s happening in our time when we have all the mobile phones, Internet, social media. There is kids, they just want to do TikTok. In the end happens at the same time these things. It’s tough to just understand.

Of course it’s affecting. Doesn’t matter how you try to do other stuff. The only thing I hope that soon is going to be peace in every countries. Doesn’t matter where. I hope is going to be peace in our countries. I hope is going to be peace in other countries where is happening the wars now.

It’s horrible in our time, this generation, can happen those things.

Q. Can you tell us what you wrote on the camera?

ANDREY RUBLEV: It’s always a life. It’s was one artist from past generation that had huge volume I think on USSR because his voice were really powerful. Just basically that there was no easy time. At that point I was not exist, but at that point was no easy time.

His voice was really powerful. The lyrics that he was writing basically was giving a lot of hope to the people at that time. Basically I just wrote it because I feel that now, at this time, is happening similar things.

 

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
129478-1-1004 2023-03-03 15:49:00 GMT

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