With 13 wins from 15 matches and two ATP titles by his name, Andrey Rublev has been one of the players of the season so far, cracking the top-15 and setting eyes on even higher ranking positions in the rest of the year. The Russian won titles in Doha and Adelaide in the opening weeks of 2020, suffering losses to Alexander Zverev and Filip Krajinovic at the Australian Open and Rotterdam and entering the ATP 500 event in Dubai as one of the favorites behind Novak Djokovic.
Speaking about a fantastic start of the year, Andrey is aware he still needs to produce some improvements to challenge the rivals from the very top, mentioning Denis Shapovalov, Stefanos Tsistsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov as the youngsters who are still in front of him.
Also, the Russian believes they all have been closing the gap to Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic despite the fact they are yet to win a Major and move three legends from the throne. Rublev will play the first match in Dubai on Monday against the young Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
"I am not doing boxing and basketball now as I hardly get any time for myself. I used to do quite a bit of both in the past, but now it's all about tennis; that takes almost 95 percent of my time," Rublev said.
"I am finishing by 7 or 8 pm and then head home, have dinner and start preparing for the next morning; that's my life now. Still, the other sports like boxing and basketball are helping me in my movement and agility while playing tennis.
The start of the season has been amazing but the main thing at this moment is to keep my level on a high note. There are still some things that need improvement and I know I have to work on these if I want to be a better player.
The main goal for me now will be to take my level one step higher, keep my focus, work hard and keep doing what I do best. It is amazing to hear the big players saying that I am among the rising stars. Guys like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Rafa Nadal are among the most magnificent set of players we've had in tennis.
And then, there are quite a few of us who are catching up with them. There are some much better players than me, guys like Denis Shapovalov, Stefanos Tsistsipas, Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, who are all doing better than me at the moment.
I know I am just going to do my best and nothing is going to be easy. I need to work hard and improve both on and off the court; we will see where we go on from there."