The Miami Open, the first Masters 1000 of 2021, had to deal with the countless forfeits of the eve. Let's clarify: the premises were not the best, especially after the postponement (to an unknown date) of the twin Indian Wells.
Having to fly to the United States for just one tournament - with the aggravating circumstance of the significant reduction in the prize pool - has discouraged many top players, including Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Even before the start of the tournament at Hard Rock Stadium, the Florida tournament has already secured the not-so-flattering recognition of being the first Masters 1000 without the Big 3 since the 2004 Paris-Bercy. At the same time, the Next Gen will finally have the opportunity to win a prestigious title, albeit in a fairly spooky context (the Central will not be used and a low turnout of the public is expected due to health measures).
During his press conference on Tuesday, Andrey Rublev wanted to illustrate the difference between his goals and those of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. The number 8 ATP will have to fly about 5000 miles to return to Europe, where he will soon start the clay court season.
Rublev on the Big 3
"I mean, I think about top players they have completely different things that they are playing for," Andrey Rublev said. "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are playing for the records, they are playing for the Slams, they've been playing Miami for 20 years.
For them now, it's not only about one tournament." They have also taken home 14 of the last 15 Grand Slams. In that context, Andrey Rublev might not be wrong in his assessment that the Big 3 would be looking to economize their schedules as they turn the page towards the final chapter of the GOAT race.
"For them it is about, legacy, records and everything," Rublev said. "So they want to be as fit as they can, as best as they can for the final Grand Slams (of their careers)... like the records." Rublev pointed out that he is in the early years of his career, and still seeking his breakthrough at the Grand Slams and Masters.
"And in my case, I'm just starting to play," Rublev said. "Now, like I said before, I did already good in ATP 250s and 500s. Now even if I do well there, I'm not gonna get any extra points. To get extra points and to go high in the rankings, I need to play big events.
Now, we're here without top players, of course I have better chances to win maybe one extra match."