Andrey Rublev reached the Hamburg European Open final for the second time in his career, in 2020 after having made it to the last round in the tournament’s previous edition, in 2019. However, between his journey to the final this year and the last, there are a couple of similarities as there are a few differences that enunciate how far he has come along as a player.
Rublev has had to beat tougher opponents in 2020 as he did last year. But back then, ranked 78th in the world, the then 20-year-old’s wins were upsets he undauntingly pulled over his higher-ranked rivals, en route to the last round.
This year, ranked 14th in the ATP rankings and seeded fifth in the draw, Rublev’s wins have not only lived up to his performances but also his rankings, too.
Andrey Rublev: Setting sights on the present with past experiences
In his press conference after his win in the semi-final over Norway's Casper Ruud – an opponent whom he had beaten last year – TennisWorld USA got a chance to ask the 22-year-old about his thoughts on reaching successive finals in Hamburg and his evolution on the circuit between these two trips.
“Last year was a present, (it) was not something I deserved by showing great level of something. Because, I was down with the breaks, set and down with the break almost every match since the first round,” Rublev began, by way of a reply.
Rublev then broke down the trajectory of some of these matches and elaborating on why he considered 2019 as a gift. Seeking what will be his first career title in an ATP 500 event, Rublev continued, “Last year, when I played Casper here (in the) second round, he was (a) set, and a break up in the second (set) and then I won.
Against Dominic (Thiem), Dominic was serving for the set and then (in the) semi-final, I was losing 6-2, 4-1 and break point, so (it) it was more of a present”. Finally, talking about him making it to 2020 final, Andrey Rublev concluded, “I think this year I deserve it by showing level, good points, good rallies and beating good players. So, I think this is the difference”. Image Credit: Hamburg European Open/Witters