Andrey Rublev says "negative emotions" prevented him in the past from making his desired Grand Slam and Masters results. Rublev, 25, is capable of reaching the latter stages of a Grand Slam but he just hasn't been able to make it further than the quarterfinal stage.
Rublev, ranked at No 6 in the world, is a seven-time Grand Slam quarterfinalist. At the US Open last year, Rublev had a favorable quarterfinal matchup against Frances Tiafoe but he ended up suffering a 7-6 (3) 7-6 (0) 6-4 loss.
Earlier this year, Rublev reached the Australian Open quarterfinal before Novak Djokovic handed him a 6-1 6-2 6-4 loss to push the Russian's Grand Slam quarterfinal record to 0-7. At the Masters level, Rublev lost each of his first two finals before winning his first Masters title in Monte Carlo in April.
Rublev on battling 'negative emotions' in past big matches
“Those matches were really, really disappointing to me because in the end, I lost them because of myself. I felt that I had chances to be in the semis but I couldn’t handle the pressure.
I couldn’t even play. I was not playing because of my emotions. In the end, of course I was disappointed a lot. It took me a while to recover. In the end, I wanted it so badly that I couldn’t handle the pressure during the matches.
I was not really playing, I was completely tight and full of negative emotions that, in the end, it was not even giving me chances to win a match," Rublev told The Guardian. This past April, Rublev lifted his first Masters title after edging out Holger Rune in the Monte Carlo final 5-7 6-2 7-5.
In the third set, Rune was up by a break and was close to going up by a double break. But Rublev refused to quit and ended up clinching the biggest title of his career. “Instead of saying: ‘Yes, I’m completely tight and I cannot put the ball in play,’ you start to say: ‘No, the wind, the sun.
It’s because of the sun or the referee, or the spectator screams something or the [opponent] took time. Instead of 20 seconds, I was waiting for him for one minute and he broke my rhythm.’ It’s because you’re afraid to say that you got tight,” Rublev said.
After winning his first Masters title, Rublev is hoping to also make his career-best Grand Slam result at the French Open.
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