Andrey Rublev will look to make good on his nickname ‘ATP 500 specialist’, as he chases a 5th consecutive ATP 500 title at the Dubai Tennis Championship.
Amping up his explosive hitting abilities, Rublev secured four straight ATP 500 titles – Hamburg, St. Petersburg, Vienna, and Rotterdam – stalking the baseline and ripping the ball into the corners.
Looking back at his semi-finals win at Rotterdam against Stefanos Tsitsipad, the Russian’s trump card was his quick transition to the net behind his forehand.
With power and precision, the 23- year-old’s menacing intentions make him a tough player to read. With chatter going on about Rublev’s 20 match-winning streak, one has to wonder what runs in the champion’s mind.
He answered: “Till the middle of Rotterdam, I wasn’t thinking much about the finals or the trophy, but then it got put it did get in my head.”
While Rublev continues to crush forehands across an empty stadium with no roars from the crowd, his game in 2021 is well heard off and continues to receive high acclaim. Andrey Rublev, in his recent documentary, mentioned some of his lonely and low moments.
But his recent form is an indication of improvements made not just to his game, but his mental strength as well.
Rublev said: “I made many improvements to my game, and this is over a long journey. I have always worked hard, and that (self-motivation) is something I am proud of. The injuries were tough, and the stress and life off-court did affect my performance but now I feel much relaxed. I realized I need to focus only on myself and the long-term goal.”
Rublev will face Australia’s Jordan Thompson or a qualifier in his first match of the tournament.
Discussing the court conditions, Rublev said: “Dubai the condition for my style is not easy, but I have nothing to lose. I’ll challenge myself and I’m sure this will help.”
If the Russian wins that match, he will meet the winner of Basilashvili and Fritz’s second-round clash.
Meanwhile, another Russian tennis player edging toward the uppermost reaches of the men’s game is Daniil Medvedev. He made the Monday headlines across sports and tennis media, as he claimed the Word Number 2 ranking, making it his best rank to date.
Medvedev, 25, is the first player outside the so-called Big Four (Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, Spain’s Rafael Nadal,Switzerland’s Roger Federer, and the UK’s Andy Murray) to enter the world’s top two. A force to be reckoned with, the Russian has so far claimed ten ATP titles, winning the ATP tournament in Marseille in France last week.