Andrey Rublev has made himself the author of an exponential growth in the last two seasons, having finally managed to express all that potential that he had seen since he was very young. The Russian was mentally unblocked after beating Roger Federer by surprise in the round of 16 of the Masters 1000 in Cincinnati in 2019, also thanks to a rival not in the best of form and fresh from the insult at Wimbledon just a month earlier. The Moscow talent has made a crazy run in the ATP 250 and 500, but he still has to polish a few details to get to the bottom of the major tournaments. The number 8 ATP knows he has a great chance in Miami, the first Masters 1000 of the season, thanks also to the absences of the Big 3 and Dominic Thiem. In a long interview granted to the sports tabloid ‘Championat’, Rublev touched on a wide range of topics, starting with his childhood idols. Andrey did not hide the fact that he has always had a great admiration for compatriot Marat Safin and 20-time Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
Rublev on his passion for Rafael Nadal
“I liked the way Marat Safin plays, of course,” Andrey Rublev said. “As a child, Rafael Nadal was an idol. And now I periodically play and train with him,” the Russian added. “I remember our first training session: I was 16 years old, I experienced cool sensations and a surge of motivation.” Andrey Rublev further claimed that Rafael Nadal’s aura and work ethic were so impressive that after just one practice session, he was prompted into working harder on his tennis. “I immediately wanted to work even harder in order to somehow fight him,” Rublev quipped. Andrey Rublev also spoke about his good friend Dominic Thiem: “Dominic Thiem is a fan of Chelsea,” Rublev said. “I’m sure he has a lot of paraphernalia with all autographs. Dominic is generally a kind and cool guy, very simple,” the Russian added. “It is always a pleasure to train with him, because he is hard-working, the classes are intense. It doesn’t matter how he feels, whether he is in the mood – in training, he will always try and share energy. Therefore, we have professional respect for each other,” Rublev said. “Outside tennis, we hardly see each other, but we communicate well and help each other out. Now he forgot something in Doha, and I took it to him in Dubai.”