World No. 7 Andrey Rublev believes he has the game to beat Alexander Zverev but suggested that his mentality is not where it needs to be when he plays the German. Rublev fell just short of winning his maiden Masters title last week as he ended runner-up to Alexander Zverev in the Cincinnati final.
Zverev, ranked at No. 4 in the world, saw off Rublev 6-2 6-3 to push his head-to-head record against Rublev to 5-0. “Maybe you need to win at least once… to find this key,” Rublev said, per the ATP website.
“Sometimes when you're losing match by match, in the end it's not easy. And you can see that the way I lost a couple of times to him [did not feel] real, because it's a bit too easy, the score is much easier, and the match is much easier than it should be.
“We play in practices, and it's always… tough sets. You can see that we play a similar level. And then when you go [into the] match and you're losing like today, 2 and 3, it's more mental. It's not about game.
“It's all about [the] mental [side] that you need to find the key how to behave inside of yourself in these matches. Because the game is there, so it's not about the game”.
Rublev blamed poor serving display for the loss
Rublev lost his serve five times against Zverev and there was no way he could beat the German with such a poor serving performance.
"In the end that was the key to the beginning that I couldn't save my serve. I said then you feel a bit more down that he's serving so good, and it's going to be super tough to break him,” Rublev said.
“Even if he [makes] some mistakes, he still has [the] advantage. Plus he's now on super confidence after the Olympic Games, winning some great matches here. “… When you start a break down – even I know by myself when I break someone in the first game – it's double easier to play after. So that was, in the end, the key”.