Marat Safin may well say that Andrey Rublev hasn't done anything important yet, but the Russo was one of the best this year. Safin said: "Do his wins this season mean anything? If we're to be honest, they mean nothing.
He won five tournaments, but they were neither ATP Master 1000 nor Grand Slama. Novak Djokovic won less, yet he finished the year at world number one. Andrey needs to change and play in the most important dates. He can beat many, but you have to reach the semifinals and Grand Finals if you want to be in the top 3.
He must learn not to break down in stressful situations. In general, many people don't understand what professional sports are, how long you can handle a stressful situation." But Rublev's 2020 was a dream, even without Slams semifinals, even without a title in the ATP Masters 1000.
In Doha he reached the final by beating Michail Kukuškin, Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Miomir Kecmanović in the order. In the final match he beat the young Corentin Moutet with the result of 6-2, 7-6 (3), winning the first trophy of the season.
The following week in Adelaide, a tournament in which he beat Sam Querrey, Daniel Evans and Félix Auger-Aliassime, defeating Lloyd Harris in the final 6-3, 6-0.
Andrey Rublev's 2021: the Russian can fly high
After the long stop due to the pandemic, Rublev reached the third final of the season at the Hamburg European Open beating Tennys Sandgren, Tommy Paul, Roberto Bautista Agut and Casper Ruud.
In the final he defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas by a score of 6-4, 3-6, 7-5. Reaching the quarter-finals at Roland Garros, he entered the Top-10 of the ATP ranking for the first time. He returned to the court in St. Petersburg, where he reached his fourth final of the season, overtaking Vasek Pospisil, Ugo Humbert, Cameron Norrie and Denis Shapovalov and Borna Coric, thus winning the second consecutive ATP 500.
Subsequently, he showed up at the Vienna Open where he reached his fifth seasonal final, the third ATP 500 final, winning it by beating Lorenzo Sonego. At the ATP Finals he is included in the London 2020 Group with Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
In the first match he is defeated by Nadal with a score of 3–6, 4–6. On the second day he was defeated by Tsitsipas with a score of 1–6, 6–4, 6 (6) –7, thus being eliminated from the tournament.
On the final day, he faces Thiem, already sure of the victory of the round robin and surpasses him with a score of 6-2, 7-5. It therefore closes the year at number 8 of the ATP ranking. The victories and successes achieved this year, together with all the physical, technical and psychological improvements, are completing the tennis of the 24-year-old Russo.
Who perhaps still has great margins to expand his tennis skills. Next year he will be one of the protagonists, like Alexnader Zverev and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Unless Marat Safin's prophecy comes true.