Worse than a horror film: Andrey Rublev's nightmare has no end

It's not a film: the Russian tennis player's curse didn't find an end even at the Australian Open 2024

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Worse than a horror film: Andrey Rublev's nightmare has no end
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

It seems like a horror film, but it's not like that: what Andrey Rublev experiences in Slam tournaments is a nightmare. A sort of curse that the Russian tennis player has not yet managed to break, in a very positive career, which lacks a great result in the Majors.

Having now become a top tennis player, capable of gaining the satisfaction of also triumphing in an ATP Master 1000 in 2023, when he defeated Holger Rune in Monte Carlo, Rublev's relationship with the four Majors has always been rather complicated.

Rublev© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

A constant growth certified by his almost constant presence among the best eight of the tournament, important paths that promptly stop at the quarter-finals.

With the defeat in three sets against Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open 2024, the Russian tennis player became the first player on the ATP Tour in the Open Era to lose the first 10 times he reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam, the second in absolute after Manuela Maleeva.

A negative record that will not please the current number 5 in the ATP ranking, who since the first time he reached the quarter-finals, at the 2017 US Open, has never managed to go further, also thanks to some rather unfortunate pairings , given that on 8 occasions the Russian faced players with a higher ranking than him.

Rublev was unable to break the curse even in this edition of the Australian Open, in a rather complicated match against Jannik Sinner, who has not yet conceded even a set in the entire tournament.

The Italian tennis player won in two hours and 41 minutes with a score of 6-4 7-6 (5) 6-3, in a match in which he always managed to maintain serve. Rublev will try to reverse this negative trend at the Roland Garros, on a surface that is not exactly congenial to him.

Rublev and Sinner, a match that started very late

The match between Sinner and Rublev started many hours late due to the long matches that characterized the daytime session.

The Italian said about it: "It was definitely a tough match. We know each other well and each time we play better against each other. I expected a rather fast match, without long rallies. That's how it went in the first set, then we we both started to respond better.

I'm really happy with the performance and with being in the semi-finals. Time and possible change of pitch? We didn't know exactly when we would play and there was talk of a possible change of court.

I wouldn't have had any problems one way or the other. It's always a pleasure to play in the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam tournament, so it doesn't really matter where you play. Obviously it's a privilege to play on Centrale, but I was only focused on the match."

Andrey Rublev Australian Open