World No. 8 Andrey Rublev has established himself as a top-10 player but in order to take the next step and become a Grand Slam contender the Russian admits he needs to improve several areas. Rublev has 11 ATP titles in his collection but he has yet to win a Masters or a Grand Slam title.
Rublev reached his maiden Masters final in Cincinnati last year, before losing in straight sets to Alexander Zverev. Last week, Rublev defeated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the Belgrade final to win third title of the season.
Rublev has proved that he is capable of winning titles and beating the best players but now he just tennis to find a way to deliver his best on the biggest stage.
Rublev on what he needs in order to take the next step
“The mental aspect of the game.
What we just mentioned – I cannot allow myself to waste time and energy on the nonsense I sometimes do, it is better to focus on the game itself and to fight for every ball," Rublev told Tennis Majors. “Game-wise, there are details I need to work on.
I need to develop a better feel so that I can return more balls in the court, slicing for instance. Some players do not play aggressively, but they give you balls that are pretty difficult to attack – sometimes, I lack those kinds of shots in my game.
“Furthermore, I need to have more confidence coming forward. There are a lot of rallies where I get a shorter ball and I do not come to the net because I am uncertain. Or I do come, but you can see I do not feel that comfortable.
I need to break that barrier in my head because I feel I can get more points that way. “Also, I need for my second serve to be faster. It would be a huge advantage, since it would be harder to break me. In part, that is mental as well, because in practice I hit second serves harder and I rarely make double faults.
But in the match, when I feel pressure, sometimes I am afraid to go for it, particularly when it is 30–30 or break point or advantage. Then I just push the ball in order to start the point. I need to say to myself ‘just do it’."