The young Russian Andrey Rublev was among the players who were looking forward to competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, ready to embrace his first run like an Olympian. After missing the opportunity to play for Russia at the ATP Cup, Andrey will now have to wait for more to wear the national jersey again, with a coronavirus canceling the Olympic Games and scheduling them for the next year.
Andrey expressed his sorrow when he heard the news, admitting there wasn't much to do about that in the situation like this, preparing himself for 2021. Just over a year ago, Rublev was ranked outside the top-100 after a nasty back injury from Monte Carlo 2018, unable to find the old form and results.
The Russian delivered the first notable result after reaching the final in Hamburg last summer, stunning Roger Federer in Cincinnati en route to the quarter-final and advancing into the last 16 at the US Open. The Moscow native won the title in his hometown, closing the season with four victories for Russia at the Davis Cup Finals and hoping for more of the same at the ATP Cup at the beginning of January.
Instead of Rublev, Russia opted to offer a chance to Daniil Medvedev and Karen Khachanov, with Andrey choosing Doha as his first event in 2020, beating four rivals to lift the trophy and repeating the same in Adelaide a week later to wrap up 500 points and 15 straight victories!
Alexander Zverev ousted him in the fourth round at the Australian Open to end the Russian's streak, with Filip Krajinovic and Daniel Evans defeating Andrey in the quarter-final in Rotterdam and Dubai. Like all the other players, Andrey is sitting at home in Moscow, working on his fitness and hoping to restart the season as soon as possible, although it doesn't seem very likely at the moment.
"It was hard to accept the news about the Olympic Games because I always want to participate in such an event. I have never been to the Olympics before and this would have been my first experience there. Of course, I was upset but we can't do anything about that.
The situation isn't looking good but everyone is trying to stay positive. The Olympics were postponed only to the next year and that time should pass quickly; let's hope for the best."