There is a lot of hope on the Russian Next Generation ahead of the Australian Open. In 2005, Marat Safin triumphed in Melbourne beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals and Lleyton Hewitt in the final to win his second Major title.
Now Andrey Rublev leads the way, and after reaching the US Open quarter-finals, he is expected to do well at Melbourne Park too. At least, that's what Mats Wilander expects from him: 'I think he is going to have a breakthrough in terms of rankings because mentally he is there, he is consistent, even though the way he plays is kind of inconsistent because he hits the ball so damn hard,' Wilander told Reuters. 'He fights so hard.
I don’t know whether it will be top-10 or has a great slam like he did at the US Open where he got to the quarter-finals. That’s his mindset now, winning slams, especially when you’ve reached a quarter-final.' Russian players motivate each other.
Daniil Medvedev is one of the young guys who has showed his potential, especially at Wimbledon in 2017 upsetting Stan Wawrinka. 'It’s a big contest for us,' Medvedev said. 'We want to climb the rankings as a group, but at the same time each one of us wants to be the first in Russia.
Marat was an idol of mine, especially the way he crashed the rackets, and I hope that one of us can make half of what he did in tennis.' ALSO READ: Mats Wilander: 'Andy Murray, take a page out of Federer and Nadal’s book' .