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 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 26, 2024

Andrey Rublev – R1 Press Conference – 2024 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships

2024 Men's Singles R32: A. RUBLEV/Zhang Zhizhen 6-7, 6-2, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Ready for first question.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about your match, the first set…

ANDREY RUBLEV: Was really tough match. I mean, I start well, but he was serving unreal. I don’t know how high was his percentage of the first serve, but it feels like some games he was not doing even one second, some games was only one second, and the rest of the serve all the directions was around 220 and was super tough to return.

I had a chance in the tiebreak. I was 4-2 up. I had easy forehand. I missed it. Then he played unbelievable. Since that, he make winner and two aces. I had not many chances.

The only good thing I was good mentally today and I was able to stay in the match. When I had a chance in the second set, I was able to take it straightaway.

Q. Are the conditions faster?

ANDREY RUBLEV: Yes. No, it feels fast, really fast. We didn’t really have much rallies today. Normally I remember from previous years was more rallies. I don’t know. Maybe this year is different balls or something, but the condition feels faster than I would say last year.

I remember I played with Sascha last year, semifinal. We were starting, it was still sunny, but we had a lot of rallies. He’s also serving 220, so…

Q. You had a lot of success at the ATP 500 level. You won this tournament a couple years ago, semis, finals. Do you enjoy the conditions here?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I don’t know. I’m fine. I enjoy the tournament. I enjoy the city. I enjoy the place.

Conditions is something that you never know because there is many tournaments I feel like, Oh, I enjoy so much these conditions, I really like, fitting me well, then I’m losing first round. Then there are conditions I feel I cannot put even one ball, and somehow I’m doing finals and winner. Same opposite way. There are some conditions I like and I doing well, some conditions I don’t like and I’m losing fast.

Better to really not focus on the conditions. Better to focus to try to do your best, to fight. Today I think I did it really well. Just because of this I was able to win.

In general, like I said, I enjoy a lot the city, I enjoy the tournament. I’m happy to be here, especially to feel that welcome here…

Q. You have some luck meeting players who are having breakthroughs this year at very strange moments of the tournament, like the beginning of the tournament, like Zhang, like Mensik. How do you evaluate Mensik from last week?

ANDREY RUBLEV: What is evaluate? Describe?

Q. Style as a new player.

ANDREY RUBLEV: It’s not easy to play those kind of players because they are improving. The same time, because they’re improving, they feel more confidence. When they face players that higher ranking than them, the thoughts is more or less, at least I remember how it was with me, Okay, I’m doing really well, I’m improving, bad luck with the draw, I’m playing good players, so nothing to lose, just to try to play free, see how is going to be. In the end, playing really well, always having chances. Like today, I was really close to lose the match. Last week in the end I lost the match.

Describe from last week? I mean, the way he serve is incredible. Only with the serve it’s already a super tough to beat him, yeah. Only because of the serve he can be a good player. On top of that, for his height, because he’s quite high, he’s moving really well, I would say. He knows how to defends. He knows how to bring the balls back. In the same time also he can hit really hard.

He have this combination that I think is important. With this serve… Give me this serve, please (smiling).

Q. On those bracelets that you wear on your arm, doesn’t it distract you?

ANDREY RUBLEV: I get used to. I get used to. It was not like in one day that I got them. It was first everything start with one bracelet. Maybe after one year, two. Maybe after half year, three. Little, little like this. Maybe 10 years of time I start to have, yeah, more or less, I don’t know, 12, 13 maybe. But I’m not putting any more.

I get used because when you little by little after a while, you don’t really feel. If you put straight to me 10, yes, it would be impossible.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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